KAJANG: It would not be an understatement to say that veteran politician Lim Kit Siang is a celebrity among many communities, and in Balakong, he draws crowds who turn up in large numbers to hear him speak.
When he turned up at the Pekan Batu 11 market in the Balakong state constituency recently, large crowds followed him around, sticking their hands out excitedly to shake his and to take selfies with the 77-year-old politician.
When he spoke, the crowds listened. And his speech was compact, with a clear message – that voters in Balakong must vote for Pakatan Harapan in the coming by-election on Sept 8, to give a strong show of support to the PH government.
According to PH Balakong by-election director Ean Yong Hian Wah, the Pakatan Harapan campaign is focused on drawing people out to vote so that reforms outlined by the coalition can be carried out effectively.
"Our campaign is aimed at convincing the people to turn up in large numbers to vote for our candidate so that reforms outlined by Pakatan Harapan can be carried out effectively," he told Bernama.
He said although there has been a positive response from the people, many seemed confident that the absence of their votes would not affect PH.
"A lot of people feel that PH will have a good chance to retain this seat, so they see that there is no urgency or they are even unmotivated to come out to vote in this by-election. We do not want this situation to happen," he said.
The Balakong seat fell vacant after the death of the DAP assemblyman, Eddie Ng Thien Chee, in a road accident on July 20.
The by-election sees a straight fight between PH candidate, Serdang DAP Wanita deputy head Wong Siew Ki and MCA's Tan Chee Teong.
In the 14th General Election, Ng won the seat with a 35,538 majority over PAS candidate Mohamad Ibrahim Ghazali who obtained 6,230 votes and Barisan Nasional's Lim Chin Wah who only managed to get 5,874 votes.
Meanwhile, MCA's election director for the Balakong by-election Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun also reminded the voters to cast their ballots, adding that they should not take things for granted even though it was a by-election.