PETALING JAYA: MCA will help Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan ensure a minimum of 70% voter turnout in the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections next Saturday, party president Wee Ka Siong said today.
He also gave an assurance that MCA members would not boycott PH candidate Suhaizan Kaiat, according to Malaysiakini.
“We’re here today, in fact since last week. There’s no boycott. There was a briefing for our machinery today. They told me where the focus areas are,” he was quoted as saying.
Wee said those claiming that the party was boycotting Suhaizan were “not right in the head”.
He said Johor MCA Youth chief Ling Tian Soon, who is also assemblyman for Yong Peng, had been on the ground to lead the party’s machinery on the campaign trail for Suhaizan.
Wee’s pledge comes a day after DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok called on MCA to lend a hand in campaigning for PH and BN.
Kok had said MCA seemed “dull, lacklustre and showed almost zero teamwork and partnership” while campaigning for Umno and BN candidates at the state elections in August.
Last month, Wee had effectively closed the door on helping to campaign for candidates from DAP, its bitter rival for decades. Wee said MCA made it “very clear that we would only campaign for BN’s candidates”.
DAP is a member of Pakatan Harapan which has formed an alliance with BN.
Wee said other political parties were not obliged to help DAP during the state elections as DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook had said his party had won its elections on its own.
However, MCA was already indirectly helping DAP by campaigning for Umno to ensure the unity government won more seats in the elections, Wee said.
Voters go to the polls on Sept 9 to choose a new MP for Pulai and a new state assemblyman for Simpang Jeram. The elections involve candidates from BN, PH and two independents.
The seats fell vacant following the death of Salahuddin Ayub of Amanah, who had held both seats.
Zahid hopes Chinese voters will also back Suhaizan
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi tonight said he hoped Chinese voters would back Suhaizan as they did Salahuddin in the past.
He said Suhaizan deserved the community’s support as he would be able to provide the best service for Pulai residents, having served as Salahuddin’s political secretary previously, Bernama reported.
“I know the Chinese really supported Salahuddin strongly. I want Suhaizan to also be supported by the Chinese here in Pulai,” he was quoted as saying.
Chinese voters form 40%, or 67,434 of the 166,000 registered voters in the Pulai constituency.