Nga could cost govt Kuala Kubu Baharu polls, says PH leader

The PH leader says DAP vice-chairman Nga Kor Ming has given PN numerous reasons to attack him ahead of the May 11 by-election.

(FMT) – DAP vice-chairman Nga Kor Ming’s unpopularity within the Malay community could cost the unity government the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, says a Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the leader said Nga, the housing and local government minister, has given Perikatan Nasional (PN) plenty of ammunition with which to attack him ahead of the battle for the Selangor state seat scheduled for May 11.

Last month, Nga courted controversy for accusing Dr Akmal Saleh of stoking racial and religious sentiments after the Umno Youth chief persisted in calling for a boycott of KK Mart over the “Allah” socks affair despite the convenience chain store’s tender of an apology.

Earlier, the Teluk Intan MP’s proposal to nominate New Villages in Selangor as Unesco world heritage sites was met with backlash from Umno and PN, with both parties claiming it would challenge the rights of the Malays and Bumiputeras.

The PH leader warned that PN would likely play up these issues in a bid to gain Malay support in Kuala Kubu Baharu.

The seat, which has been held by DAP since 2013, fell vacant last month after the party’s three-term assemblyman, Lee Kee Hiong, died following a battle with cancer.

Nga’s press secretary, Pang Sock Tao, has been announced as PH’s candidate for the seat.

“The opposition will use Nga’s comment on the KK Mart socks issue and his New Villages proposal to attack him,” the leader said.

“Whether his aide is contesting or not, PN will definitely use these factors to win Malay support.”

Swing in Indian vote?

Kuala Kubu Baharu, which has historically been represented by Chinese assemblymen, has a mixed electorate with Malay voters comprising 46%, Chinese 30%, Indian 18% and others 5%.

The PH leader said the unity government may lose the Indian vote if several key Indian parties were to integrate their campaign messaging.

“If the Malaysian Indian People’s Party, the Malaysian Advancement Party’s P Waytha Moorthy and Urimai’s P Ramasamy can put together a coherent narrative, it will be a problem for us,” the leader said.

“With the right message, they could win most of the Indian votes.”

The leader also said it would be “pointless” to ask for MIC’s help in securing Indian support, despite the party’s assurance that it would campaign for the unity government’s candidate.

“The Indians have already rejected MIC on multiple occasions,” the leader said.

“I think something is wrong if the (unity government’s) leadership expects MIC to deliver Indian votes.”