KUALA LUMPUR: Umno’s Mohd Shafei Abdullah has taken Wangsa Maju MCA to task for working in “silo” instead of cooperating with other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to win seats in the 14th general election (GE14).
Shafei, who lost to Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong in the 13th general election (GE13) by 5,511 votes, said he was now working only with MIC and myPPP to wrest back the seat from the opposition.
Speaking to FMT, he also rubbished the notion that the seat was “traditionally” MCA’s.
“They are working by themselves and they still feel that this is their traditional seat.
“By right, this is not their traditional seat. This seat was earlier given to Umno, where the first MP was Kamal Mat Salih, followed by Zulhasnan Rafique.
“After that, Wangsa Maju was contested by MCA, so if they say it’s their traditional seat, that is not true,” he said at an event at Wangsa Maju here.
MCA president Liow Tiong Lai had previously insisted that his party would not give up the Wangsa Maju seat, claiming that it was only “loaned” to Umno.
He also said that Wangsa Maju would return to MCA in GE14.
Wangsa Maju entered the limelight in January when the Election Commission (EC) received a letter from the police headquarters there on a report alleging there were new voters who had provided suspicious personal information to the commission and the National Registration Department.
The report was made by an individual who represented a political party in the Wangsa Maju parliamentary constituency.
However, Shafei denied claims of phantom voters, calling them “just talk” by the opposition.
“Phantom voters mean voters who are not valid – for instance, they are using other people’s identification cards. That is considered phantom voters.
“Once they are registered as voters in Wangsa Maju and they come with their own identification cards, they are not phantom voters. The opposition is just talking nonsense.”
He said in Kuala Lumpur, voter mobility was high and people moved to the city all the time due to job opportunities and the like.
“Migration numbers are high, so many people come into Wangsa Maju, rent homes here and now they are voters.
“Every day, there are new births and people reaching the age of 21 and these numbers are higher than daily deaths in the city.”
He said Wangsa Maju constituents appeared to be gravitating towards BN again, claiming their MP has not served them well.
“He is not doing anything here and we are always going to the ground, we are listening to the voters and we are trying to facilitate these things that they want,” said Shafei.
The constituency has 67,775 voters, half of them Malays. Chinese voters make up 40% while the other 10% are made up of Indians and other groups.
Incumbent Tan told FMT that he would be defending his seat in the coming election despite the possibility of having to fight both PAS and Umno in the Malay-majority constituency.
He said voters in the area were too concerned with economic issues to care about the racial background of candidates.
Tan added that Shafei would have won if race was an issue.
He was confident that if PAS decided to contest in Wangsa Maju, the candidate would lose as most of its members in the constituency had left to join PPBM.
“There are now more PPBM members than PAS members in Wangsa Maju,” he added.