BANGI: The Balakong by-election is a crucial test and a chance for voters to show the nation that the people still support Pakatan Harapan (PH), DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said today.
Lim said it was not just about winning the 14th general election (GE14), as PH should continue its winning streak in the 15th and 16th general elections too.
He voiced concern over the possibility of a low voter turnout on Sept 8, considering that GE14 had recorded an 85% voter turnout.
“Balakong voters might think it will be a surefire win for PH, hence they may not come out to vote.
“This is why I am stressing the importance of this by-election, not just for Balakong but for Malaysia, if they want the spirit of May 9 to continue for a new Malaysia.
“My message to the voters is to come out in full force to ensure PH does not just win, but wins with a bigger majority,” he told reporters after a mini ceramah at a morning market in Batu 11 here today.
Also present were PH’s candidate for Balakong, Wong Siew Ki, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, and Kinrara assemblyman Ng Sze Han.
The recent Sungai Kandis by-election, where PKR successfully retained its seat, saw a low voter turnout of 49%.
The Election Commission (EC) has said it expects a 75-80% voter turnout for the Balakong by-election.
EC secretary Mohamed Elias Abu Bakar said polling hours would be extended until 5.30pm to encourage voters to fulfil their duty.
The Chinese-majority state seat, which has 61,219 constituents, fell vacant after its assemblyman Eddie Ng was killed in a car crash last month.
In GE14, Ng garnered over 35,000 votes for the Balakong state seat.
Lim, who is Iskandar Puteri MP, said who voters decided to choose in the by-election was important as it would decide how much they would benefit.
“In this regard, of course our candidate is better because she is part of PH, which forms the state and federal governments. She will be able to get resources from the government to carry out her work, as compared with the other candidate,” he said.
On the national level, Lim said the by-election was also important in terms of how the Umno leadership was trying to bring down the PH government.
“They have launched a very irresponsible campaign focusing on race, religion, hatred, fear and lies.
“Even when Umno has no candidate in Balakong, it is very clear that there is a bigger plan. All three by-elections (Balakong, Sungai Kandis and Seri Setia) are part of a larger game plan by the opposition to topple PH.
“I hope Balakong voters will come out in force to show they continue to support PH to bring change, even though 100 days have passed,” he added.
Wong will face off against MCA’s Tan Chee Teong in the by-election.