The Malay Mail Onine
19th May 2014
KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — DAP’s chance of retaining Teluk Intan has dwindled to as low as 40 per cent, Lim Kit Siang said today as he blamed race-baiting by Barisan Nasional (BN) for the likely dip in his party’s popularity.
He said BN believes the DAP has committed a “fatal error” by fielding a Malay candidate for the Chinese-majority seat and will use this to wrest the party’s non-Malay support.
“For these reasons, the DAP has a very uphill battle, and I will rate the DAP’s chances of winning Teluk Intan by-election as 40 per cent to 60 per cent,” Lim said in a statement here.
In a bid to boost its multiracial credentials, the DAP picked Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud as its candidate for Teluk Intan, a seat last held by the late parliamentarian Seah Leong Peng.
The strategy has not impressed many of Teluk Intan’s Chinese voters, who make up 42 per cent of the electorate. The Malays form 38 per cent, and the Indians 19 per cent of the 60,349-strong electorate.
Last May, Seah defeated BN’s Datuk Mah Siew Keong with a 7,313-vote majority.
BN has again fielded Mah, who is Gerakan president, for the contest.
Lim braced his party for what he described as an “intense attack of lies and falsehoods” against both the DAP and its selected candidate Dyana, and urged Teluk Intan voters to look beyond Dyana’s racial background when casting their votes this May 31.
“The battle in Teluk Intan is a battle between the future and the past, the new versus the old, the politics of Malaysian nationalism against the politics of race.
“This is the challenge for the people of Teluk Intan to rise up to the occasion to vote for the country’s future,” he said.
The DAP veteran said BN’s Mah will likely play his “minister’s card” when canvassing for votes, especially among the Chinese and Indian constituents in Teluk Intan.
The former deputy minister and his BN colleagues will likely dole out expensive promises of money for development and projects, Lim said, in hopes of enticing the electorate to vote against the DAP.
“Furthermore, there will be an extra card, that the Chinese must vote for a Chinese and not for Dyana, a Malay candidate,” Lim predicted.
“This is all politics of the past, the politics of race which Malaysians must break away if we want to introduce the new politics where politics is based on Malaysian identities rather than communal identities,” he said.