KKB by-election: S'gor DAP chief's political secretary tops list of potential candidates


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 11 Apr 2024

KLANG: With the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election scheduled to take place next month, many are wondering who will be DAP's candidate pick.

Earlier, there was talk that the party was considering placing a Malay candidate to fight and retain the seat.

This was because the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat, under which Kuala Kubu Baru comes under, is helmed by PAS MP Hasnizan Harun.

Hasnizan had defeated PKR's June Leow in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The other state seat under the parliamentary constituency, Batang Kali, is helmed by Bersatu assemblyman Muhamad Muhaimin Harith Abdullah Sani, marking Perikatan Nasional's heavy presence in the constituency.

The by-election is being held to fill in the vacancy created by incumbent assemblyman Lee Kee Hiong's death recently.

According to a source, the names of two municipal councillors, one of them a Malay woman, were also initially suggested to represent Pakatan Harapan.

The Malay woman councillor was said to have helped out at Lee's service centre.

The source said initially, serious consideration was given to selecting the Hulu Selangor candidate.

"But a majority saw that it was not right for us to play the race game as well," said the Pakatan source.

But, at the moment, he added, the person who appears to be on the top of the list is Selangor DAP chairman and party deputy chairman Gobind Singh's political secretary Mandeep Singh.

Mandeep, who was formerly with Bersih, comes from the district and is said to have been helping Lee out at her service centre as well.

However, some say there may be some pressure on the DAP to consider a Malay candidate given the big support Perikatan had received from grassroots Malays there during the last polls.

Meanwhile, when contacted a Perikatan source said the Opposition coalition will probably name Selangor Gerakan chief Henry Teoh as its candidate.

Teoh had contested the seat in the last state polls and was defeated by Lee with a mere 4,119 majority.

To a question why Perikatan was not considering a Malay candidate, the source said it would not be a wise decision to do so.

"Kuala Kubu Baru is a mixed seat and although the Malays are the biggest voting bloc, the numbers do not result in the seat being classified as a Malay majority seat," he said.

The source added putting a Malay to contest there would not be a wise decision even though the Malay electorate had given Perikatan overwhelming support in the last state polls.

"We want to represent everyone," he said.

Recently, Selangor Perikatan Youth chief Mohamed Sukri Omar said, in a statement, that one of the main factors that could lead to the coalition's victory was strong Malay support in the Hulu Selangor district.

“We are confident in seizing the seat which has been DAP’s since 2013.

“The certainty is underpinned by the fact that 51% of voters are Malays, and are very friendly towards Perikatan,” he had said.

Sukri had added that besides the Malay voters, Perikan was confident youths would also vote for them.

“Young voters, especially the 18-year-olds, are well versed in technology and will be exposed to more information. That will lead them to compare (between parties) and eventually choose Perikatan,” he added.

Sukri had also said that based on the state election results last year, the DAP only gained 761 votes against the ones it received in 2018.

Perikatan had gained 7,437 votes compared to when PAS contested the seat as a third force during the 14th General Election.

Overall, DAP’s vote share in Kuala Kubu Baharu had slid from 57.8% in 2018 to 54.4% in 2023, while PN’s vote share last year was 39.3% compared to the 13.6% secured by PAS before that.

Sukri said the increased number showed a clear signal that voters are leaning towards Perikatan.

“Therefore, regardless of who is our candidate, our state youth wing is ready to face the by-election,” he had added.

The Election Commission had, on April 4, announced that nomination will be on April 27 and polling will take place on May 11.

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