Thursday, April 12, 2007

MORE PICS - BN Retains MACHAP Seat (By-Election April 12 2007) with a Reduced Majority 481; DAP Alleges BN Buying Vote; Next Round: IJOK April 28 2007

UPDATE: April 14 2007
MACHAP Postmortem: DAP Moral Victory in Forcing BN to Hand-out Millions of Development Projects; BN Dirty Tactics Victory without Honor; MCA Got Reassurance for next GE

DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Melaka On 13.4.2007)
Machap Voters Are The Real Victors In Getting Tens Of Millions Of Ringgit In Development Projects And Endorsing DAP Call For Democracy By Giving DAP A Moral Victory In Reducing BN Majority By 481 Votes Despite Fighting The Entire Machinery Of The Malaysian Government. The 9,623 registered Machap voters are the real victors in yesterday’s by-election. Not only were Machap voters promised or given tens of millions of ringgit in development projects and benefits, they were also able to endorse DAP’s call for democracy by giving DAP a moral victory in reducing BN’s majority by 481 votes.This is a substantial achievement when DAP increased our votes at the expense of BN despite the benefits to the people of:-

a) Newly paved roads all over Machap;
b) Hundreds of new street lamps;
c) A RM 1.2 million recreational area near the Durian Tunggal Dam;
d) 102 grants for housing lots for second-generation settler families at Felda Tun Ghafar Machap;
e) RM3.7 million will be allocated to Felda Machap with RM3 million for upgrading waterpipes, RM600,000 for the construction of a multipurpose hall and RM100,000 to repair the mosque;
f) approved the application for 7,000 square feet of land by 50 second-generation Chinese settlers with a 99-year lease and a low premium of RM12,500;
g) approved the 20-year-long demand of Machap Baru villagers to build 80 units of low- and medium-cost houses, which will be sold at price below RM60,000 each;
h) Ministry of housing and local government’s special allocation of RM650,000 to upgrade roads and drainage system and to build a new air-conditioned hall;
i
RM 400,000 to relocate the telecomunnications tower in Machap Umboo to build a new replacement and unspecified amount to extend the land grant lease to 69 years from the present 34 years with reasonable land premiums;
j) Health ministry will spend RM160,000 to upgrade clinics in Machap; and
k) Education Ministry will give no less than RM50,000 to each of the three Chinese primary schools in the constituency.
Further BN’s tactics of fear, intimidation and vote buying were successful, especially in Tebong where BN’s votes increased to 1,037 votes from 992 votes whilst DAP remained almost unchanged at 165 votes from 162 votes in the 2004 general elections. Clearly BN’s victory is without honour as they would still have won (though perhaps not by 4,081 votes) without needing to resort to such dirty tactics.

DAP had not expected to win the Machap by-election but were hopeful of defeating BN’s goal of making DAP lose our deposit and significantly reducing BN’s majority. DAP succeeded but could not achieve the breakthrough hoped for in getting some Malay and Indian votes to scale back BN’s majority to 3,000 votes. Nevertheless the reduction of majority is a significant achievement in that this is the first by-election since the 2004 general elections contested by BN that DAP has reduced BN’s majority. In all the previous by-elections, BN had increased both their votes and majority. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is wrong to say that the drop in majority of BN is caused by Datuk Poh Ah Tiam’s increased stature as compared to BN’s new candidate. Even though the candidate may be new but Datuk Poh did not have the entire government machinery of Malaysia helping him to campaign.

In that respect the disadvantage of the new candidate factor of BN is equalized by the advantage of having the entire Malaysian government machinery. There is no reason whatsoever for BN’s majority to drop by 481 votes when essentially BN enjoys the same advantages. The drop in majority clearly indicates that despite the focus by the entire government, the voters especially the Chinese community responded to DAP’s call for democracy, equal economic opportunity and political equality. Despite the turnout of 74.31%, it was clear that putting polling day on a working day instead of a Sunday had affected the turnout in some areas in that those working outstation could not return to vote.

This was especially evident in Machap Baru where the fourth stream had a voter turnout of only 51.4%. In that stream, despite the lower turnout DAP’s votes had increased to 113 from 96 whilst BN’s votes dropped from 368 votes to 188 votes. In Machap Umboo, the number of votes obtained by DAP held steady at almost 40% despite the threats of withholding extension of land lease grants and shifting the telecommunications tower. DAP thanks Machap voters who had supported DAP and our call for democracy to ensure that the government performs at all times and not only during by-elections. Good governance requires that the government listens to the people. Further good governance requires that projects that are carried out must benefit the many and not the few or that the government cannot refuse to carry out projects because there is no private benefit to BN leaders.
Clearly rural voters love democracy because they want to be “bosses”. By reducing BN’s majority and giving DAP a moral victory, Machap voters are not only endorsing DAP’s platform for democracy but also acknowledging that DAP’s participation in the by-election has benefited them to enjoy all these development projects which otherwise BN would not have given.

= = == = = == and here is STAR’s brief report
Saturday April 14, 2007
DAP: We didn’t get Malay and Indian support

MALACCA: The DAP has admitted that it failed to wrest the Machap state seat because of poor support from the Malay and Indian voters. Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said it had not managed to penetrate the Malay- and Indian-predominant areas in the constituency. He said, however, the Chinese voters responded to the DAP's call for democracy, equal economic opportunities and political equality. Lim said setting polling day on a working day instead of a Sunday had affected the turnout in some areas, where those working outstation could not return to vote. Thanking the voters, he added: “Good governance requires that the government listens to the people. “Good governance requires that projects carried out must benefit many and not a few.”

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Machap: Malaysians in general disappointed

April 13th, 2007 by ronnieliutiankhiew

The residents have yet to feel the pains of the urban and semi-urban brethren resulting from paying higher toll fees, higher petrol prices, etc. Wait until this BN put a toll right in the middle of their village and they will then come howling. They have made the bed and they must now lie on it.”- Billy (blogger)
This is a comment from blogger Billy in my blog. I believe many Malaysians share his sentiment and felt the same way too. That’s because many Malaysians outside of Machap, especially those living in the urban and semi-urban areas, were hoping that the Machap people would vote against the racist, heartless and arrogant BN. But they have forgotten that Machap is indeed a BN’s stronghold. And the way BN handles its by-elections in Machap was blatantly crude if you know what I mean.

Yes, the entire race was marred by lies, violence, intimidation and vote-buying in line with Islam Hadhari. But I hope every Malaysian would take note that there was an increase of votes (slightly more than 2% of the total votes) to the opposition. This is not insignificant in a BN stronghold like Machap. DAP gotten only 18% of the votes in 2004. It now obtains 20%. DAP did quite well in Machap Baru, registering an increase of some 15% votes (from 21.89% to 36.57%). I was hoping to get 50% of the votes here before the polling day. Please take note that Ali Rustam was talking about sweeping the deposit from the DAP before the race. “Lori Gostan” must have thought that to re-tar the entire road system in Machap Baru and Machap Umboo (Kg Permai), lining the road from Machap Baru to Machap Umboo with 900 street lights, building a recreational park over a week and forking out hard cash besides making pledges after pledges (from land for the farmers and land to the dead ones, relocation of transmission towers, tenure of land rights extended to 99 years ONLY IF BN won the seat ) to buy votes would have “sapu” our deposit.

The partnership between DAP and PKR must have contributed to this significant “moral victory” for the opposition. Let us not despair with this result. We should see the light, take the cue and work hard (very, very hard) to create the right conditions for greater opposition unity. The opposition leaders MUST not ignore the need to work together. And the people must also play a part in achieving the much-needed unity.

====and STAR's Analysis By JOCELINE TAN, April 14 2007

Useful lessons in Machap; ANALYSIS

The by-election enabled some in MCA to test the party machinery and gauge the impact of issues close to the Chinese community's heart. THE people of Machap are probably still talking about all the famous political faces who passed through their constituency. This was one by-election where both sides had lined up their top guns to campaign. For instance, it was the first time most of them had ever seen Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the flesh. “Even fairer than a Chinese,” one of them said upon seeing Najib Likewise, many were thrilled to find Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting at their doorstep when the MCA president decided to go house-to-house.

Ong was a rather patient campaigner. He was not the sort who shook your hands and went off but would ask questions and stand around to chat. Generally, the MCA leadership under Ong has managed to rise to the occasion in answering and tackling many of the issues close to the Chinese heart. On the final night of the campaign, hundreds of locals as well as people from outside Machap packed the narrow road fronting the Parti Keadilan Rakyat office for a glimpse of the opposition who’s who, from Lim Kit Siang to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The senior Lim even went house-to-house, which party people say he rarely does now that he is getting on in years. Even the old lion Karpal Singh turned up in his wheelchair. It is quite normal for the Barisan Nasional to go all out in a by-election no matter how confident it is of winning.

But this was the first time in years that the DAP had assembled such a strong line-up to campaign. This was an important contest for the DAP given its ambitions in Penang in the next general election, but it knew that its candidate Liou Chen Kuang was not strong so the strategy was to pad him up with national arsenal against Barisan’s Lai Chong Meng. While the Barisan felt somewhat letdown that the new 4,081-vote majority was 481 short of the previous majority of 4,562 votes, the DAP was also disappointed at its inability to further knock down the Barisan win. “We did better than before but it was not the result we wanted,” said DAP’s Liew Chin Tong, political adviser to secretary-general Lim Guan Eng. The previous 4,562-majority was the highest margin of win of all the state seats in Malacca in the 2004 polls.

But it was the DAP’s worst margin of loss in the whole country. Thus, it was a tough act to follow for the Barisan, particularly given that the 2004 polls had been about the Pak Lah phenomenon. In the DAP’s case, it had hit rock bottom and there was no way for it to go but up. Some said the DAP had hoped to narrow the margin by more than 1,000 votes. The result was that both sides felt that they could have done better. But there are a number of key points to note. One, Umno’s Malay bedrock is as solid as ever. The party delivered a stunning 89% of the Malay votes. It was little wonder that Najib arrived for the announcement of the result looking sanguine and rather celebratory in a bright fuchsia batik shirt. “All the personal attacks by the opposition had no effect,” said Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Many thought he was referring to the Internet attacks on Umno leaders, especially the Prime Minister and his family. The issues that are being played up in blogosphere are popular and current among the urban middle class but had no impact on the rural Malay heartland. Hishammuddin was so pleased that he and MCA Youth chief Datuk Liow Tiong Lai somehow managed to hoist the victor, who weighs 108kg, in the air. In all, the old fears the Malays have about the DAP have not diminished even with Anwar’s help. Second, the “Sarawak wind,” the euphemism for the DAP success in last year’s Sarawak state elections, failed to blow through Machap. The DAP slogan during the campaign was,

Democracy starts from Machap.” Said DAP’s Liew: “There won’t be a repeat of the Sarawak phenomenon in the peninsula. We can expect a shift of swing votes but there won’t be any groundswell or tsunami for us in the general election. On the plus side, this is the first by-election since 2004 where the opposition actually improved on its performance. The occasion also saw two warring DAP personalities, Guan Eng and Malacca chief Goh Leong San, on the same stage for the first time in more than a year. Third, the old chestnut about each side commanding some 30% of hardcore support seems to hold true in Machap.

While MCA secured 63% of the Chinese votes, the DAP held on to 37%. There will always be those who feel they have been neglected or who know the DAP cannot do what MCA can, but who see the opposition party as a daring champion of the underdog. Some attribute the smaller majority to Lai still being in the shadow of his predecessor, the late Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam, a five-term assemblyman. People also feel freer to take risks in a by-election because they know it will not affect the state government.

Some in MCA find the Machap experience to be a useful prelude to the general election. It enabled them to test the party machinery and gauge the impact of issues close to the community’s heart. New village politics used to be very challenging for the MCA, but decades of engagement and development have brought about a new level of stability. Still, the Chinese are such tactical voters and their support cannot ever be taken for granted. While they are pragmatic about their needs, they also want honest and capable leaders. “The president enjoys an image as an honest, fair and straightforward leader. He now has to ensure that the image is reflected down the line and that may depend on the line-up of candidates in the coming general election,” said Rita Sim, deputy chairman of the MCA think-tank, Insap.

= = == = == = = =
BN 5 533 (5,847); DAP – 1452 (1,285)

Spoilt votes156 (202) ; Majority 4081 (4,562)

VOTERS TURNOUT 74.22 % (74.33%)
(Bracketed are 2004 GE figures)


= = == = == = == == = ==Thursday April 12, 2007; STAR

Barisan wins in Machap by-election

MALACCA: Barisan Nasional's Lai Meng Chong, 56, was confirmed the winner in the Machap by-election with a majority of 4,081 votes. The DAP chose Liou Chen Kuang, 32, as its candidate in a straight fight for the seat vacated by incumbent Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam, 55, who died on March 15. Lai polled 5,533 votes against Liou who garnered 1,452 votes

= = == = = = =
Breaking news! DAP 1452, BN 5533, Maj 4081, Spoilt 156

April 12th, 2007 by Ronnieliutiankhiew; 21.10 pm

DAP managed to slash the majority by 481 votes. Not too bad. It’s considered a success for the opposition. The party is not discouraged by this result. Please bear in mind that two out of three Malay voters in Machap were Umno members, and about 30% of the Chinese voters were MCA members. The Indians in Tebong here were controlled and threatened by MIC not to vote for the opposition in this by-election.

But DAP managed to increase some 70 votes in Tebong which is a good sign. Initial figures show that DAP managed to increase votes from all the three races. It was also proven that the SPR’s strategy of discouraging young voters from coming back to vote on a working day “worked” for the BN. In Machap Baru stream No. 4 (mainly young voters), the turnout was the lowest among all, registered only 51%.

Turnout 2007 : 74.22% of 9,623.; Turnout 2004: 74.33% of 9,889.

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The prime minister said the coalition's success in retaining the seat showed the people wanted a representation from the BN which had proven to have the capacity to develop Melaka in general and Machap in particular. "The BN emerging victorious is a clear indication of the people's wish for a BN representative to represent them in the state assembly. "The people know the BN government has proven its mettle to develop Melaka. That's why they have elected a BN candidate to represent them," said Abdullah, who is also BN chairman, in a special interview over RTM1 televised live from his official residence "Seri Perdana" in Putrajaya as soon as the results were announced.

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April 13, 2007 00:03 AM

Lai Pledges To Do His Best For The People Of Machap

ALOR GAJAH, April 12 (Bernama) -- Lai Meng Chong, the victorious Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in today's Machap by-election, has pledged to do his best for his constituents and strive to bring more development to the area. Lai, 56, said he would work with leaders of the BN component parties to bring development to his constituency.

"I will do my utmost to get the state and federal governments to bring more development to Machap," he said in his victory speech. In the straight fight, Lai, a local boy, defeated DAP's Liou Chen Kuang by a 4,081-vote majority. Lai polled 5,533 votes while Liou, who made a second attempt for the seat, could only manage 1,452. Lai also thanked voters for placing their trust in him.

Liou said he was not disappointed with the outcome but accept the people's verdict with an open mind. "I'm not disappointed. We managed to garner higher votes than in the last general election," said the businessman. A dejected DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said while the party was disappointed with the defeat, "we are happy over the higher votes received and manage to reduce the BN's majority." "We also manage to derail the BN's plan to make our candidate lose his deposit," he said. Lim said the results showed the Machap people wanted democracy and their voice to be heard. "The time has come for the government to listen to the voice of the people," he added.

= == = == = =
April 13, 2007 01:19 AM

Machap Win Proof Of People's Confidence In Abdullah - Najib

ALOR GAJAH, April 13 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Barisan Nasional's (BN) win in the Machap by-election was proof of the people's strong confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The Deputy Prime Minister said it reflected the people's confidence in Abdullah's administration which they take pride in. "It shows the people's support for the BN in Machap is still very strong," he told reporters after the results were announced.

The BN retained the seat with its candidate Lai Meng Chong, 56, defeating DAP's Liou Chen Kuang, 33, by a 4,081-vote majority. Lai, 56, polled 5,533 votes while Liou, 33, contesting in the seat for the second time, received 1,452 votes. Najib said the win would enable the BN to continue serving the people in Machap. Najib said concerted efforts by Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam in resolving various problems at the grassroots was also a factor in BN's victory in Machap. "Although the majority has reduced slightly but overall I am satisfied with the outcome after what the opposition did during the run-up to the election," said Najib who spearheaded the BN election machinery. "Lai Meng Chong contested for the first time and secured a majority of more than 4,000 votes. Although the opposition tried everything, the BN still managed a big win," he said. Najib, who is also BN deputy chairman, said the results showed the people could not be easily swayed by the opposition's antics as they were more concerned on who could bring development for them. On the reduced majority, he said a post-mortem would be conducted. "However, the reduction in majority is not very significant," he said.

Najib also said an analysis needed to be made as to why voters who lived away from the constituency did not return to vote. "They had just come back for the `Chin Beng' (all souls day), so to make a second trip within two weeks might have been a bit difficult for them," he said, adding that slight fluctuations in the majority was not something unusual. Najib was confident Lai would serve the people well as he was a highly experienced person having been the political secretary to Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn and also played an active role in the Alor Gajah MCA division. The seat fell vacant following the death of BN assemblyman Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam, 55, who was also Melaka MCA chief, on March 15. Najib added that the win was also a big motivation for the BN in facing the Ijok by-election in Selangor on April 28.

= = == = == ==
April 13, 2007 00:52 AM

BN Component Parties Elated By Win In Machap

ALOR GAJAH, April 13 (Bernama) -- The component parties in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition are elated by its candidate's win in the Machap by-election, describing it as an endorsement of the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting thanked Abdullah, who is also the BN chairman, for placing the trust in the MCA to defend the seat. "MCA will continue to fight for all Malaysians and renew efforts to bring even more development to Machap," he told reporters after the BN candidate Lai Meng Chong, 56, was announced as the victor in the election. He defeated the DAP's Liou Chen Kuang, 33, by a majority of 4,081 votes. In KUALA LUMPUR, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu thanked voters in Machap for returning the seat to the BN. "It (win) has proven that the people, particularly the Chinese are still very much in support of the BN. We always have faith in the people to give us their support," said the Works Minister.

He also attributed the BN's victory to the leadership of Abdullah and the hard work put in by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the BN deputy chairman. Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) president Tan Sri Dr George Chan said that the BN victory showed that the Chinese still supported the BN government. Dr Chan, who is also Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, said it was a good indication that the Chinese community in the country was aware that only the BN could help them to progress in future. "I am happy that BN won with a big majority," he told Bernama.

People's Progressive Party (PPP) president Datuk M.Kayveas also said the win showed the people's support for Abdullah and Najib. Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the state government would continue to ensure that Machap received development. He said the big win was an indication of the people's support for the leadership of the Prime Minister. In PENANG, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who is also acting Gerakan president, said the win would further inspire the government to do even more for the people.

Machap By-election: Polling Centres Close, 74.22 Per Cent Voter Turnout
April 12, 2007 18:00 PM
ALOR GAJAH, April 12 (Bernama) -- A total of 7,142 voters or 74.22 per cent of the 9,623 registered voters in the Machap state by-election had cast their votes when polling closed at 5pm. Election Commission (EC) Secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohamed Noor told Bernama that the turnout was good, considering that it rained in several places in the afternoon.

ABOVE & BELOW: Voters turned out early to cast their votes

In the general election in 2004, 74.33 per cent of the 9,889 registered voters in Machap turned out to cast their votes. The result of the by-election is expected to be announced at Kompleks Japerun Machap, Bukit Bulat, before 8.30pm. The by-election is a straight fight between Lai Meng Chong, 56, of Barisan Nasional and Liou Chen Kuang, 33, of the DAP. The seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam, 55, on March 15. Poh beat Liou to win the seat with a 4,562-vote majority in the last election.

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April 10, 2007 22:04 PM

Najib Raps DAP's Campaign Tactic In Machap

ALOR GAJAH, April 10 (Bernama) -- A tactic by the DAP in showing video clips of debates in the Dewan Rakyat in their Machap by-election campaign was rapped by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Tuesday. One of the clips showed a Barisan Nasional (BN) representative suggesting that those who do not like living in Malaysia should leave. In reply, Najib said speeches by "one or two individuals" did not reflect the BN's stand and could not be used as a yardstick. "It's not about one or two spokesmen. What's important is the BN policy and we set this policy through consensus with the other BN leaders," he told reporters after presenting land titles to 93 second-generation settlers of Felda Tun Ghafar Menggong near here. Today was the eighth day of campaigning since the nomination day. Polling day is this Thursday. The by-election involves a straight contest between BN candidate Lai Meng Chong, 56, and the DAP's Liou Chen Kuang, 33.

In the 2004 general election, Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam defeated Liou with a 4,562 vote-majority. Poh died on March 15. In their campaign, the DAP also distributed pamphlets on speeches made at the last Umno general assembly which it claimed smacked of racialism. Najib who is BN deputy chairman, said the DAP was going around meeting the people to gain their sympathy by employing tactics that confused them. He also urged outstation voters to return to cast their votes on the polling day. The Machap state constituency has 9,623 voters and of those, 2,400 reside elsewhere. Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin said an election was best way to gauge support towards government policies. "What's important in the process is that we can see people's appreciation towards measures implemented by the government," he said. A big win for the BN in Machap would mean the government was still popular, he said when meeting farmers and breeders in Kampung Menggong. Meanwhile, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu rendered two Tamil songs at a gathering of about 200 Indian voters, mostly housewives and grandmothers, in Bukit Nangka to woo their support.

Pointing to several BN banners hanging on the wall, he asked the voters to cast their votes to the "dacing" symbol that represented the BN. An elderly woman stood up and told the MIC supremo that she had been voting for the BN since she was 21 years old, to which Samy Vellu replied: "I know that from your elegant smile." For both candidates in the by-election, their focus was on Chinese voters in Machap Umbor and Machap Baru. The MCA, led by its president, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, and deputy president, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy, had been campaigning in both areas over the past two nights. Alor Gajah member of Parliament Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn, who is MCA vice-president, was also working hard to ensure Chinese votes went to the BN.

The MCA's focus in the campaign was clearly seen when the party held a presidential council meeting in Machap Umboo this afternoon and not at its headquarters. Liou said the DAP's campaign in both areas went on smoothly. Joining them in the campaign was Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which he said was to show to the voters their determination to win.

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April 10, 2007 19:53 PM ws

Najib Confident BN To Win Big In Machap

ALOR GAJAH, April 10 (Bernama) -- "When I meet, speak, shake hands, talk to some voters in Machap, I get more confident that the BN can win," said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, summarising Barisan Nasional's chances ahead of the Machap state by-election this Thursday. The deputy prime minister who is leading the BN campaign, said that if the Machap voters who reside outside the constituency, return to cast their votes, the BN would achieve a bigger majority than in the 2004 general election. That was why; he said here Tuesday that the BN machinery must continue to work hard till the final moments to ensure the highest percentage turnout. Machap is a BN stronghold where in the last general election, its candidate, Datuk Poh Ah Tiam, won with a 4,562 vote-majority, defeating Liou Chen Kuang from the DAP. Poh died on March 15.

This time, the BN fields Lai Meng Chong, 56, a local lad, who is facing the same DAP candidate. According to a political analyst, voters in Machap would elect a capable candidate and one whom they trust could serve them best and ensure continuous development for their area. Assoc. Prof Norhayati Mohd Salleh of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Melaka said that by electing a capable candidate, they would get a people's representative who could realise the country's mission and vision, especially in terms of development of the country and constituency. "It's natural in any country, the pre-requisite in voters' mind is the candidate's capability," she said. She said a voter who took the process lightly or elected a candidate by flicking a coin would put the people at risk of losing out. Norhayati who is the head of public administration diploma programme at the university, said if the voters could think of which candidate and which party could govern the country well, the candidate would secure the majority of the votes.

At the same time, she said, the political parties contesting in the by-election should also not be complacent but to work hard to win the voters' support. Norhayati said that in a by-election, a party that focussed on external issues and not current local problems in the campaign, showed its immaturity in terms of garnering the voters' support. "If there are problems in our backyard, why should we bring in other problems?," she said. A local political observer said the excellent service rendered by the late Poh, who was Melaka Housing, Local Government, Environment and Transport Committee chairman, in Machap over the past 12 years, would not be easily forgotten by the residents. The Machap constituency has 9,623 voters comprising Chinese (46.07 per cent), Malays (38.65 per cent), Indians (14.13 per cent) and other races (1.15 per cent).

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April 10, 2007 21:19 PM
Work Hard For A Bigger Voter Turnout, Says Ong

ALOR GAJAH, April 10 (Bernama) -- A low voter turnout will affect the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in getting a good result in the Machap state by-election on Thursday and the MCA is worried about this. Therefore, the MCA and the BN, in general, had to work hard on polling day to ensure a better turnout, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said Tuesday. He told reporters this after chairing the MCA presidential council meeting in Machap Umboo, the first time that the meeting is held in a Chinese new village.

Ong was commenting on concern voiced by the party workers over a possible lower voter turnout this time because about 30 per cent of the 9,623 voters work in Johor Baharu and Singapore and most of them had just returned last week for Qing Ming or All Soul Day to pray to their ancestors. The fact that polling is being held on a working day also makes it difficult for some voters to return to cast their vote. The BN's Lai Meng Chong, 56, a local, is facing the DAP's Liou Chen Kuang, 33, in a straight fight for the Machap state seat which fell vacant following the death of incumbent Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam on March 15.

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April 10, 2007 00:29 AM
Face-To-face Interaction Dominates Machap By-election Campaign

ALOR GAJAH, April 9 (Bernama) -- With two more days left, face-to-face interaction seems to go on a feverish pace in the Barisan Nasional (BN) Machap state seat by-election campaign. Led by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, several BN leaders have been attending meet-the-people sessions and visiting voters at their homes to get their support for BN candidate Lai Meng Chong who is facing Liou Chen Kuang of the DAP. Campaigning has taken on a carnival atmosphere with the poster and flag war waged everywhere within the constituency including the Tun Ghafar Felda scheme in Hutan Percha, Tebong, Kemuning, Machap Baru, Machap Umbor, Solok Menggong, Melaka Pindah and Ayer Pasir. Most of the DAP posters are found in the Machap Umbor and Machap Baru Chinese new villages and it is also actively campaigning in Tebong with a sizeable number of Indian voters.

The Machap by-election will be held this coming Thursday following the death of its assemblyman and state exco member Datuk Wira Poh Ah Tiam on March 15. Among the top party leaders down here for the by-election campaign are MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and several other Cabinet ministers. When meeting the voters, Najib, who is also BN deputy chairman, and the other leaders had a clear message to them -- use their right to vote wisely. "Democracy gives us the right and the power to vote but how are we going to use it and what is our intention come polling day. "Surely we want to use our power wisely because we will benefit from it, that is, we want a government which will continue to look after our well- being and our future," said Najib when speaking at the Tun Ghafar Felda scheme here.

The DAP, meanwhile, is also getting some help from Parti Keadilan Rakyat in its house-to-house campaign and in distributing leaflets and providing vans complete with a public address system to spread the party's message. However, the DAP, said to be hampered by the lack of big national issues as well as local issues to influence the voters, today tried to used psychological warfare by saying that its candidate would lose his deposit if Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi too campaigned in Machap.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said after seven days of campaigning, the BN election machinery led by Najib and Melaka Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam would run out of issues to ensure BN win with a bigger majority. Najib quickly responded by saying that Abdullah needed not campaign, more so for a state seat, as the people had confidence in his leadership, policies and vision. "The Prime Minister did not campaign in the Batu Talam state seat by- election and yet we won big and the other candidate lost his deposit." Today's campaigning under very hot weather condition, slowed down a bit following a downpour in the evening.

There has been no report af any untoward incident during campaigning.

= = == =

April 12, 2007 20:44 PM

PM Okays MIC's Choice For Ijok By-Election - Samy Vellu

SEREMBAN, April 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has approved the MIC's choice of candidate for the Ijok by-election, party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said today. He said Abdullah, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, gave his consent to the BN candidate from MIC at 4pm today.

ABOVE & BELOW: The sleepy hollow in Ijok

He, however, said the name of the candidate would be announced at a function to be attended by him and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo. "The date and time for the announcement will be fixed by Dr Khir in his capacity as the Selangor BN chairman," Samy Vellu told reporters when met at the Negeri Sembilan MIC annual convention. Asked if the candidate was a local, the Works Minister declined to give hints. "No details, but the candidate has been approved," he said. He said 23 people had lobbied to be a candidate but the person picked did not. "Twenty-three aspirants lobbied but I submitted only one name to the prime minister after conferring with Dr Khir yesterday morning," he said.

Asked whether the candidate was young or old, he said: "We won't give to old hopefuls anymore," drawing laughter from those present. Nomination for the by-election has been fixed for next Thursday and polling will be held on April 28 in the event of a contest. The by-election is held following the death of BN assemblyman Datuk K. Sivalingam of a heart attack in Chennai, India, on April 4.

Sivalingam, 59, who was a state executive councillor and Selangor MIC deputy chairman, won the seat for the third term after defeating Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Abdul Rahman Moharam by a 1,649-vote majority in the last general election.

= = == =Another hope for the opposition on April 28 2007

Ijok by-election: Polling 28 April;Nomination 19 April

April 11th, 2007 by ronnieliutiankhiew

I notice that the polling day for Ijok falls on Saturday. This is a slight improvement over the date set for Machap, which falls on Thursday. SPR should fix the polling day on Sunday if the body was fair and just to all parties and the voters. The campaign period was again reduced to the minimum number of days (only 8 days). If you minus a few rainy days, you have only 4 to 5 days to campaign. But then again, BN does not need so many days because they controlled every media except the Internet portals.

SPR was proven again as the 15th component party of the BN Coalition
. DAP must thank PKR for going all-out to assist DAP in Machap . Many top leaders of PKR have visited Machap and the grand finale is set in Machap tonight when Anwar Ibrahim makes his first appearance. All big guns of DAP will be speaking to the Machap people tonight as our final effort to convince the voters to vote for democracy. DAP can now reciprocate by helping PKR to win the Ijok seat. PKR stands a good chance to win with a right candidate and opposition unity. To win Machap or Ijok would certainly do good to the entire opposition in the run up to the impending general elections. Opposition unity is crucial and imperative. The time is not on our side. All opposition parties must unite to fight the Umno-led BN coalition for the common good of the rakyat. What can be more important than the interest

2 Comments:

Anonymous tf said...

The 300-pound gorilla against the little fish.

They should campaign on the basis that people should vote Opposition just so that there is a check-and-balance in place, instead of granting the obviously over-bearing BN total power.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

9:39 AM  
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