BANGI: MCA’s Balakong candidate Tan Chee Teong is hopeful of a good outcome in today’s by-election, although he says this is not necessarily measured by a victory over Pakatan Harapan (PH).
The local boy, who cast his vote at 9.10am, said he was aiming to shave at least 10,000 votes from the previous election majority of 35,538 votes won by DAP’s Eddie Ng in the 14th general election (GE14).
Ng had defeated Barisan Nasional’s candidate Lim Chin Wah of MCA and PAS’ Mohamad Ibrahim Ghazali with 41,768 votes out of 62,219 registered voters.
He died in a car crash in July, triggering the by-election in Balakong.
Speaking to FMT at the SRK(C) Batu 11 Cheras polling centre, Tan, 40, said it was strange to see his name on the ballot paper this time around.
“I feel proud to see my name as I voted for a different person in GE14,” he said, adding that he had also been anxious at first but is now at peace.
“No matter what the results may be, I just want Balakong’s condition to improve. I want it to keep improving no matter who the next assemblyman is.”
Should PH win the by-election, he added, he is ready to lend a helping hand if he is invited to give feedback.
“I strongly believe in a two-party system, and I hope that PH will recognise this as the best way to ensure good governance in any government.”
Adding that DAP was still in a “honeymoon mood”, he said it had yet to fulfil its responsibilities as the ruling party.
“They are still busy being politicians. They have forgotten their jobs as the people’s representative.
“They have to start working now, enough rejoicing over their victory,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tan’s wife, Connie Chin, said the past 21 days of campaigning have been hectic for the entire family.
Chin, 38, said it was different from GE14 as her husband had only been helping out and was not a candidate in the general election.
“Being a candidate is a different ball game altogether. Even we, as family members, felt the pressure.
“In the last 21 days, I have been helping out with his work, handling his business matters and, of course, taking care of the children.
“I anticipated this,” she added. “As a wife, this is my duty to give him full support as a candidate.”
Chin said they were both happy when Tan was chosen as the Balakong by-election candidate as he was shortlisted to contest the seat in GE14.
“He was a little down (when he was not chosen), but he was positive that he could try again in the next general election.
“It looks like he didn’t have to wait that long,” she said.
The Balakong by-election today sees a straight fight between Tan and PH’s Wong Siew Ki, 32.
Some 62,000 voters will decide who replaces Ng as their new assemblyman.
Wong is contesting under the PH logo in a first for the coalition. Tan, meanwhile, is contesting under the MCA logo.
Balakong is a Chinese-majority seat with 60% Chinese voters, 30% Malay voters and 9% Indian voters.
Voter turnout was at 15% as of 10am.