'Mah will be minister, front door or back'
DAY 11 TELUK INTAN What’s happening in the by-election campaign in the parliamentry constituency of Teluk Intan? Follow us as we update you with quotable quotes, planned events and unplanned incidents as they take place:
10.30pm: Following Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announcement that BN's Teluk Intan candidate Mah Siew Keong will be made a minister if he wins, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says the announcement is unnecessary.
Speaking to a 2,000 strong crowd who turned up gradually after rain, Lim says this is because Mah will be appointed into the cabinet regardless of the polls outcome, as Mah is the Gerakan president.
Former Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon and MIC president G Palanivel lost in the general election, but they were both ultimately appointed as senators as a move to make them cabinet ministers, says Lim at the ceramah at Jalan Mahkota in Teluk Intan town.
He says it did not matter if the duo entered from the front door or the back door, they were eventually made ministers anyway.
"So, why not learn the from the smart voters in Ulu Selangor and Batu Kawan?
"Regardless of the by-election result, Mah will benefit," he says.
Earlier, DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud launches her new book 'Di Sini Bermula' (Here It Begins), a compilation of her articles.
Her boss and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang says he wrote his first book at the age of 37, but Dyana authored her first book at a much younger age of 27, as the younger generation is far ahead today.
Dyana meanwhile touches the crowd by urging the people to continue with her to fight the Umno bully.
"Who's the candidate that has been attacked by Umno ministers non-stop? I felt sad, but I never surrender as you are with me," she says.
08:18pm: The campaigns at the by-election are well under control although 18 police reports have been made over minor incidents, Bernama reports the police saying.
Deputy inspector-general of police Mohd Bakri Zinin says today the police have opened five investigation papers based on the reports.
He also says that the police are constantly on the lookout for gambling through an 'Ops Cantas Khas' team that has been set up.
So far, there had been no reports of gambling in the constituency, he tells reporters after attending a briefing on the by-election.
He says the police have made all the necessary preparations to ensure that polling on Saturday would be smooth.
6pm: DAP’s Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming says the party is concerned over its winning chances in the by-election with only an estimated 10 percent of the outstation voters returning this Saturday.
“If we can get more than 70 percent of turnout rate, we stand a chance to win, but if it is lower than 65 percent, we would be defeated,” he says.
Ong (right) also complains that the DAP hotline for bus tickets booking had been hacked, in which messages urging people to support Mah had been sent out.
To this, Ong says DAP had decided to cancel the phone number and requested outstation voters to book tickets via email instead.
4.59pm: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok flays Gerakan for its tame response against Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi labelling of the Chinese community that do not support BN as “ingrates”.
“The response from Gerakan leaders is most disappointing and pathetic, especially from Gerakan secretary-general Liang Teck Meng,” she says in a statement today.
Liang had warned BN leaders against making any statements that can be “spun and twisted” by the media.
However, Kok says Liang’s reaction appeared more like attempting to blame the media rather than reprimanding Zahid.
“Why can’t Gerakan leaders at least demand that Zahid retract his remarks and apologise to the Chinese community? Clearly Gerakan leaders are very frightened of Umno leaders.
“It is so obvious that Gerakan are very fierce with (DAP’s candidate) Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, but they are only a mouse with Umno leaders,” she says.
She adds that BN’s candidate Mah Siew Keong should ban Zahid from campaigning in Teluk Intan.
3pm: BN candidate Mah Siew Keong holds his final press conference of the campaign and jokes that for the first time ever, he “looks good” in a special interview with Malaysiakini last week.
“My son called me up and says, he felt so touched after reading Malaysiakini for so many years, it was the first time they wrote good things about me.
“But after that (it) kept lambasting (hentam) me,” he quips, making everyone in the room laugh out loud.
12pm: Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir gets a lashing from two MPs from the PKR for commenting on Dyana's fashion sense.
PKR Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung called it a cheap shot, even though he is aware that Mukhriz may have been sarcastic.
"He was insinuating that Dyana is unreliable and cannot be trusted because she is, in some posters, spotted wearing a tudung, and in others, she is not," Gooi said.
Ampang MP and PKR Wanita head Zuraida Kamaruddin hit back saying that Mukhriz has undermined his own leadership potential by showing that he is so easily puzzled.
"Can we trust an easily confused menteri besar to make sound judgments and be an effective leader to decide on important matters?
“Hasn’t Mukhriz dressed in Malay costumes, as well as donned the Western suit as well? Could Mukhriz be so confused by the fake and defamatory pictures of Dyana in a bikini?" Zuraida asked in a press statement.
The Teluk Intan seat fell vacant after former MP Seah Leong Peng of the DAP died of cancer on May 1.
DAP is fielding 27-year-old lawyer and Lim Kit Siang's former political secretary, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud.
If elected, she will become DAP's first Malay female MP, second youngest DAP MP to be elected and only the third Malay parliamentarian for the party in the current sitting.
Meanwhile BN is putting forth veteran politician, well-known local boy and Gerakan president Mah Siew Kong.
- Mah previously held the seat for two terms, between 1999 and 2008, and was assemblyperson for Pasir Bedemar, which comes under the parliamentary constituency.