Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) seems to be fighting an uphill task in retaining Kajang state seat with the majority of 6,824 the party gained in Mar 2013 general election as its candidate Datin Seri Wan Azizah Ismail continues to walk the rough path.
Whether her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had made the right move in forcing the by-election or not, she is now faced with the challenges of a different environment where the Chinese voters are no longer with the theme ‘ubah’ or change.
They seem to want an opposition voice in the PKR-led state government which is now held by the 12 Umno assemblymen – no Chinese.
The Malays on the other hand, are also not in the mood of ‘Barisan Nasional (BN) bashing’ as they have experienced the ‘non-performing’ PKR-led state government where even the small business licences are raised or increased and their places where they put up stalls were demolished.
The ‘unfriendly environment’ has made Wan Azizah working twice as hard as she, accompanied by her husband, do their daily walk-about from morning till late evening after which they speak in ceramahs at the Kajang stadium to convince voters of the Kajang Move.
Their confidence of gaining a higher majority seems to be diminishing by the day as they failed to gather voters to flock their daily meet-the-people sessions, getting only few hundreds instead of the well-known thousands at every ceramah.
Anwar’s miscalculation on the support from Chinese voters was due to his ‘overconfidence’ of a similar scenario as last year’s general election where the Chinese wanted a change in government.
However, the failure to change the federal government has somewhat changed the Chinese minds a little where in the Kajang case, they wanted a voice and a strong opposition in the state where it is now fully Malay-Umno opposition – all 12 seats – and not a single Chinese opposition.
To them, without an opposing voice, the PKR-led state government is taking them for granted resulting in the lacsadaisical attitude in dealing with the Kajang people’s problems.
This has resulted in Wan Azizah raising injustice to Anwar’s court case, an issue that she and her campaigners think could overshadow the weaknesses in the state government.
However, campaigners from both sides of the political divide are actually in a blurr as they could not get the ‘readings’ given the lifestyle in the constituency that made it difficult for them to ‘touch base’ except in open housing areas such as Saujana Impian and few other housing areas.
“Urban lifestyle where some 40 percent of the voters live make it difficult for us to reach them – gated community and security condominiums.
“We cannot get through them to do surveys, even though the surveys may not give us an accurate reading, but at least we can get some kind of guide.
“This time we are out of such guide and till today, we still do not know our reading,” said a seasoned campaigner from BN.
However, one thing both sides are certain is the Chinese voters are shifting to BN as they want an opposition voice in the state assembly to highlight their grouses.
And of course, BN candidate Chew Mei Fun is one person who the Chinese community in Selangor knows that can do that.
“She lost in last year’s general election because of the tsunami, not because of her performance,” said a coffee shop owner in Kajang.
— Dr Wan Azizah Ismail (@drwanazizah) March 14, 2014