War in the streets of Labis

By Zainal Epi, The Malaysian Insider

LABIS: The third day of campaigning in Tenang became animated when MCA and DAP began their verbal war.

MCA and DAP are fighting hard to win the hearts and minds of the Chinese who comprised 5,766 or 39% of the total 14,753 voters in the state constituency.

Fighting the “war in the street of Labis” where most of the Chinese voters are located, campaigners of both rival Chinese-based parties “stormed” the shop houses nightly to “drum into the heads” of the voters the party’s respective objectives.

During these ceramahs MCA speakers “fired” some shots at the Islamic characteristics of Normala Sudirman. In the heavy exchange, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had to step in and advised MCA to lay off the Normala issue, especially the “glove” controversy.

Normala drew flak from MCA when she wore gloves to shake hands with voters during her walk-abouts.

Muhyiddin, who is BN campaign chief, is closely following the “Galas textbook” where he refrained from character assassinations to keep the atmosphere “tenang” or calm.

MCA is fighting a defensive stance in its “war” with the DAP which is playing up national issues and targeting MCA as it is part of the BN machinery.

Like it not, MCA cannot pin the blame on Umno as the BN government works on consensus and hence, the party is placed in an awkward position.

Thus, DAP and its ally PKR are having a field day hitting out at MCA and BN on national issues.

Although the turnout was not more than 200, national issues such as the economy and personalities became items of gossip for the Tenang folk.

Personal touch

For the 7,104 Malay voters who are mostly located in the three Felda schemes, Umno seems to have an upper hand in its house-to-house campaign.