by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
May 24, 2014
TELUK INTAN, May 24 ― While paparazzi had hounded Princess Diana to death, DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud has been tailed by voters in Teluk Intan clamouring to take photographs with her instead.
At walkabouts in night markets at Taman Manik and Taman Desa Bakti in Changkat Jong yesterday, the 26-year-old candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election was stopped almost every few minutes by people of all ages and races wanting to take pictures and selfies with her.
“She’s awesome! She’s beautiful! She’s good!” Syuhada Wandi, a 24-year-old clerk, gushed to The Malay Mail Online at the Taman Desa Bakti night market after posing with Dyana Sofya for a picture.
Dyana Sofya with her rosy apple cheeks and long black hair, was accompanied by DAP members who handed out posters detailing her past experience as a law graduate from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and political secretary to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, as well as her political philosophy.
DAP campaign workers also gave out round stickers bearing various images of Dyana Sofya, such as one of her in a party uniform, hair uncovered, and another of her donning a purple selendang and baju kurung.
Many people at both night markets, which were patronised mostly by Malays, could be seen wearing the stickers on their shirts.
After taking a photograph with Dyana Sofya, machine operator Gurmit Kaur told The Malay Mail Online that the DAP candidate was a talented young woman.
“We like her,” Gurmit told The Malay Mail Online.
Although Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders initially played up Dyana Sofya’s looks last weekend, they have been extolling her intelligence and stand for justice and equality of late.
At a ceramah at Taman Desa Aman last night, PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad called Dyana Sofya a “young” and “bright” person, and omitted references to her physical appearance.
The ceramah attended by about 100 people ― mostly Indian and Malay men ― was held just outside a petrol station. There was a tent housing the speakers several feet away from the kerb at the petrol station where some people sat, while others sat on their motorcycles or stood.
When Dyana Sofya arrived, wearing a white selendang, several men went forward to take photos of her with their smartphones.
DAP’s candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud speaks during a night ceramah in Teluk Intan, Perak, May 23, 2014. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaDAP’s candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud speaks during a night ceramah in Teluk Intan, Perak, May 23, 2014. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Speaking without a piece of paper in hand, Dyana Sofya talked about her political struggle and how Teluk Intan residents had assisted her when she was heckled recently.
“These gangsters tried to close our roads, but the residents opened them so that we could meet with the other residents. That’s what I love about Teluk Intan,” she said, drawing cheers.
After her speech, a crowd of men closed in on Dyana Sofya in the tent, prompting a loud voice telling them to back off and to give her space.
Amid the melee, Dyana Sofya took a picture with two young women.
Tony Pua, DAP’s Teluk Intan campaign director, said that 10 people are now guarding Dyana Sofya on her campaign trail.
“We have tripled her security and minders over the past weeks purely out of concern for the enthusiasm that voters have shown,” Pua told The Malay Mail Online.
“We usually are quite nonchalant about security as we like to move freely with the crowd, but unfortunately, the attention, wanted and unwanted, is a little too overwhelming,” he added.
Dyana Sofya will face Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong in a straight fight for the Teluk Intan federal seat in Perak on May 31.