Tian Chua: Wangsa Maju needs a young, bilingual candidate

PKR vice-president Tian Chua says it would not be right to parachute a new candidate to defend Wangsa Maju.

PETALING JAYA: Any change of candidate in the Wangsa Maju seat needs to be carefully thought out as it is a Malay-majority area, PKR’s vice-president Tian Chua said today.

He said there were several PAS stronghold areas there, too.

“It is a Malay-majority constituency. There are a lot of civil servants, police cooperatives and some areas are heavily influenced by ulamas too.

“So, if there are any changes, the replacement must be a younger leader with a strong bilingual capacity,” he told FMT.

The Wangsa Maju parliamentary seat was won by PKR’s Dr Tan Kee Kwong in the 2013 general election. He defeated the Umno divisional chief Mohd Shafei Abdullah with a majority of 5,511 votes, in a straight fight which saw a voter turnout of 57,771 (86%).

In 2013, Wangsa Maju had 67,775 voters, half of them Malays, 40% Chinese, and 10% Indian and other ethnic groups.

Tian Chua was asked to comment on speculation that Kee Kwong may be replaced with Tan Yee Kew, a former parliamentary secretary to the international trade and industry ministry.

“We cannot just parachute a candidate to Wangsa Maju. If we want to change, the candidate needs to have a strong profile,” he said.

Kee Kwong told FMT that he had worked hard in the constituency. “I am well received by the people, but I will leave it to the leadership to decide,” he said.

Barisan Nasional may field MCA’s Federal Territory chief Yew Teong Look if Umno agrees to MCA contesting the seat.

Yew was said to be favoured due to his performance in Wangsa Maju in the 2004 and 2008 general elections.

He won in 2004 by a 10,185-vote majority against a PKR candidate but failed to retain the seat in 2008, losing by a slim 150 votes to PKR’s Wee Choo Keong, who later left the party to become an independent.

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