The “Musang King” in our political arena Datuk Chong Sin Woon has a sharp eye in making the bold decision to contest in Seremban in the 14th general election. Originally, DAP leaders treated him as a mere political fodder as the incumbent Seremban MP Anthony Loke is a DAP strongman. In the face of such a fierce opponent, Chong’s attempt is suicidal.
Anthony Loke has challenged MCA leaders to fight him in his constituency. And Chong Sin Woon took up the challenge to fight him in Seremban. Unexpectedly, with the redelineation, what used to be a “black area” for Chong has become a “white area”, diminishing Loke’s chances of being re-elected. Loke can win only if there is a Malay tsunami. Otherwise, chances are great for him to be replaced by the “Musang King” as next Seremban MP.
Chong Sin Woon is under the lucky star as his rise as the next generation of MCA leaders is within sight. This time around, the “Musang King” can stand proud while Loke will need to work hard to do some catching up.
In the 2013 election, there were 122,507 voters in Seremban, making up of 41% Chinese, 43% Malays and 13% Indians. Under the redelineation exercise, Chinese voters have been reduced to 37.4%, while Malay voters have increased to 50%. The Indian voters remain at 13%.
The new racial composition will certainly be more favourable to Chong Sin Woon. The number of voters has been reduced to 99,752 from 122,507 in 2013. The number of Chinese voters has obviously been reduced while that of the Malay voters has increased.
In the last election, Loke won with a 13,151 majority. Some 3,863 Seremban voters have been relocated to another constituency and thus, the Chinese voters in Seremban have been reduced. At the same time, there is an increase of some 7,000 Malay voters, raising the Malay proportion by nearly 7%. With such changes, together with PAS’ interference, it will be a bitter fight for DAP in this constituency.
It is said that everything in life is fated. No wonder MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong called this young deputy minister the “Musang King” in the political arena. Chong recently paid a visit to the second campus of Seremban Chin Hwa High school together with Khairy to hand over a donation of RM1 million for the construction of its assembly hall. Khairy showed off his Mandarin to campaign for Chong. It is believed that this would strengthen the sentiment between Chong and the Chinese community and give him the advantage in wooing their votes. If Chong still cannot win, he could only resign to his fate.
Looking at the redelineation, Loke is clearly at a disadvantage position. How he turns the situation around would depend much on his skills. If Loke succeeded, it would be a great embarrassment to MCA in the face of total destruction.
Seremban has long been dominated by DAP and has been won by DAP leaders such as Chen Man Hin, John Fernandez, and Anthony Loke. It was only in 1982 when Tun Lee San Choon accepted the challenge of Lim Kit Siang to fight it out in Seremban and won the seat because Lim Kit Siang chickened out.
Since then, MCA has never been able to win back Seremban. However, the redelineation may open the way for Chong Sin Woon in winning the seat for MCA. Chong has been appointed the deputy education minister based on his senator-ship and has always been mocked by DAP for entering the parliament through the backdoor.
If he wins in the coming election, he could get rid of such a derogatory remark and rise up as a heavyweight in MCA. When Chong stood on the platform with Khairy, he has the blessing of Khairy as well as that of the Menteri Besar. As such, Barisan’s chances of winning Seremban are high.
Khairy’s support of Chong should be emulated by other UMNO ministers. If other UMNO ministers could also face the Chinese masses in such a way, the opposition parties would not have a chance to instigate the people with various issues.
If other UMNO ministers could give their support to MCA just like Khairy and if they could behave and speak in a courteous way, not only Chong Sin Woon would win the support of Seremban Chinese, other MCA candidates would not be fearful of being wiped off by DAP.
If UMNO could stand together with MCA and train their guns at the enemy, the outcome of the coming election would be most rewarding. It is a pity that UMNO ministers have been consistent in marginalizing MCA while emboldening the DAP.