Wanita MCA chief is confident the voters there have the wisdom to elect a rep that can look into their welfare
GOPENG: Wanita MCA chief Heng Seai Kie denied that she is a parachute candidate for the Gopeng parliament seat.
“All the previous MPs from MCA since the time of (former party president) Tan Koon Swan are outsiders. (Former minister and ex MCA secretary general) Ting Chew Peh is a local but I am based here,” said Heng during an exclusive interview in Gunung Rapat, which is closer to Ipoh.
“I was the coordinator (ibu angkat) for this constituency before I was told to contest the Padang Serai seat (in the last general election). Surveys conducted show that I am remembered for my services,” she said.
“I don’t see acceptance as a problem,” she said, adding that even the grassroots MCA leaders welcomed the decision by party leadership to field her as long as the local leaders are fielded for the state seats.
“Whoever is chosen to contest the state seats, I will help them to win,” she also said.
The question was raised since she had previously contested the Padang Serai parliament seat in the 13th general election. She however lost to PKR’s N Surendran.
The 51-year-old Heng currently is national Wanita MCA chief, Perak MCA Wanita chief and the party’s candidate for the Gopeng parliament seat.
The last MCA representative was former minister Ting Chew Peh who represented Gopeng since 1996 until 2007. Ting was dropped as a candidate in the 12th general election, in 2008, in favour of Ling Hee Leong.
Ling however was defeated when he polled 22,328 votes against PKR’s Dr Lee Boon Chye who polled 29,696. Dr Lee had a 7,368 vote majority.
In the 13th general election, Dr Lee doubled his majority to 15,309 votes when he amassed 47,558 votes against MCA’s Tan Chin Meng who only polled 32,249 votes.
Gopeng is made up of three state constituencies – Sungai Rapat, Simpang Pulai and Teja. All three state constituencies are held by the opposition with PAS in Sungai Rapat and the balance by PKR.
Failure of the incumbent
Heng also summed up the expectation of Gopeng’s 111,0000 voters of which Malays and Chinese constitute 45% followed by 8% Indians and 2% Orang Asli voters.
“The voters would vote for a person who takes care of them, help solve problems, convey message to the top and develop the area especially for the local communities.
“In terms of economy there needs to be job creation, promotion of economic activities. Businesses would generate income and they will be independent economically.”
Heng is banking on three factors that depended on voters’ wisdom to wrestle Gopeng from the opposition.
“Dr Lee has won for two terms. His performance should be known and evaluated by the the voters. The failure of the incumbent MP is a key factor to change him,” she said.
“Voters should look on whether he served them up to their expectation. The failure to deliver services and keep up promises is a key factor too.”
The third factor that Heng raised was regarding the other BN component parties in Gopeng.
“For the past eight years BN lost here. All its component parties never closed their offices. It is open to serve the people. That carries weight.
“It is proof that BN is sincere in helping the people even without mandate,” she said.