PETALING JAYA: Terengganu MCA has mobilised its members to ensure a good Chinese voter turnout for the Kemaman by-election on polling day, says Dr Monna Ong Siew Siew.
The state liaison committee chairman said that such an effort has been ongoing since Nomination Day on Nov 18.
"We will ensure as many Chinese voters as possible turn out on polling day. Out of the 132,310 voters in Kemaman, 6,946 are Chinese," said Dr Ong.
"MCA calls on all Chinese voters not to give away this opportunity to choose their representative and a voice of conscience that could balance out PAS’ dominance in Terengganu," she added in a statement on Thursday (Nov 30).
Dr Ong said the Kemaman by-election is an uphill battle for Barisan Nasional, given PAS’ total dominance in Terengganu.
"However, this has not deterred Barisan candidate Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor - a local boy - from giving his best to convince voters that they need a 'full-time' Member of Parliament and to have an opposition voice in Terengganu," she said.
On Thursday, Dr Ong accompanied party deputy president Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon and Wanita MCA national chairman Wong You Fong on a walkabout in Kemaman and campaigned for Raja Mohamed Affandi.
Wong said that the MCA headquarters has set up a call-in centre with the help of the Terengganu MCA in conjunction with the impending by-election.
"According to party member data, there are 2,081 MCA members in the Kemaman parliamentary constituency, accounting for about 30% of the Chinese voters in the constituency," said Wong.
She added that the calls showed that the overall response from party members has been positive.
With 10 MCA branches in Kemaman, she said the party has the highest number of members in the Chukai state constituency with 1,319 members, followed by Air Putih (323), Kemasik (290) and Kijal (149).
"Kemaman MCA and Terengganu MCA have all hands on deck to ensure that no member is left out in this by-election, including members who are in need of transport as well as those who need special assistance such as wheelchairs," she said.
Earlier, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also received encouraging feedback on the Barisan candidate during his visits and meetings with 20 Chinese organisations in Kemaman.
The state liaison committee said they are convinced that the Chinese community wants their interests to be protected and wants development in the area so that businesses may flourish.
Although Perikatan Nasional's PAS is expected to have an advantage in this by-election, Dr Mah said a win for its candidate Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar could be a burden for him as he is also the Terengganu Mentri Besar.
"While a win for Ahmad Samsuri would not significantly change the political landscape of Terengganu, it would put an additional burden on him to also serve as the people’s voice for Kemaman," said Dr Mah.
He added that this would be particularly for the Chinese and Indian voters as they are the minorities in the constituency.
"If he holds the positions of both Mentri Besar and MP, Ahmad Samsuri will need to exhibit good political prowess and acumen to be an inclusive PAS leader, maintaining the values of diversity and moderation while at the same time taking on national issues," said Dr Mah.
Calling on Terengganu MCA and its Kemaman division to leave “no stone unturned” in the next few days, Dr Mah said the party should canvass as many Chinese votes as possible.
"Let's fight for every ballot for our fellow Barisan candidate in striving for a more diverse voice in this by-election," he said.
The Kemaman by-election is on Dec 2.