A case of 'by-election, what by-election' in Balakong?

Published date27 August 2018
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

The campaign in the Balakong state by-election entered its 10th day today, but the momentum has yet to pick up in the case of both the contesting parties.

Apart from a police report lodged by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Wong Siew Ki in response to allegations by the MCA candidate Tan Chee Teong that PH was responsible for vandalising MCA posters and bunting, the 'election mood' is still not there.

National politics is busy with discussions and bickering on issues such as the East Coast Rail Link project, 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) and Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), but the constituents of Balakong are more concerned about their own welfare.

It is business as usual for the people here. Their response to the by-election is still lukewarm, unlike in the 14th general election in May where the excitement of talks on politics and aggressive campaigns had taken centre stage in their routine life.

Campaign materials such as party flags and billboards promoting the candidates are also sparse, as Bernama found out.

The Balakong seat fell vacant after the assemblyman, Eddie Ng Tien Chee of DAP, died in a road accident on July 20. He had won the seat by polling a majority of 35,538 votes in a three-cornered contest in the general election on May 9.

This by-election, polling for which is on September 8, is a straight fight between Wong Siew Ki of PH-DAP and Tan Chee Teong of MCA.

The Election Commission has set an unprecedented 21-day campaign period.

Both candidates wasted no time in hitting the campaign trail soon after nomination on Aug 18, with PH having a head start.

The early days of the campaign saw Wong and her team choose to space out their activities...

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