Lim Kit Siang, the DAP politician and blogger, or
Teresa Kok, the DAP politician and blogger, or
Tony Pua, the DAP politician, and blogger?
Yet when it comes to Jeff Ooi, Malaysiakini and other newspapers would refer to him as a blogger.
Sure he is, but … why not refer to him as a DAP politician? He is that now, and he could well be the next federal MP for Bukit Bendera!
In an earlier post DAP prospects in Penang - Makkal Sakti factor I mentioned the Hindraf has awoken the Indian voters, but I also queried whether the DAP can convince them to vote for its candidates.
Playing around with old 2004 election figure, and also working on very conservative expectations of Chinese voters swing to the DAP but focusing on what a seismic shift in Indian voting pattern can achieve, I said that it would be possible to take Bukit Bendera away from a fairly popular Chia Kwang Chye of Gerakan.
Alternatively, and less likely, if there is a major shift of Chinese voters over to the DAP, and it’s possible because DAP had held Bukit Bendera before, Jeff as the DAP rep could well be sitting in Parliament sometime middle of this year.
As bloggers we are of course interested in Jeff’s chances, so let’s examine some pros and cons for him as a candidate for BB.
(1) DAP brand – in the last election even a Malay candidate under the DAP banner in this Chinese majority seat could secure 18000 of the 47000 votes. That’s nearly 40%, and the only reason why Zulkifli didn’t roam all the way home was that he was a johnny-come-lately rather than a non Chinese. The DAP had failed to prepare him for or introduce him to the voters well ahead.
(2) There is dissatisfaction with the UMNO-led BN.
(3) It’s a federal seat and Chinese Penangites are more
(1) Chia Kwang Chye hasn't been exactly idling and taking things for granted. He will be a formidable opponent for Jeff.
(2) Jeff is not well known in BB. Though he’s from Sebarang Perai, he’s what the islanders would call ‘koay karng larng’ (bloke from across the river). Islanders tend to consider 'koay karng lang’ as semi foreigners ;-)
(3) The voters, especially those in the Ayer Itam village and Rifle Range locality, are those who are more likely to identify themselves with the Gerakan (hawkers’ patron) than with Jeff.
But it’s still do-able for Jeff, depending on he plays the game. And he has started off by blaming UMNO for the economic downturn in Penang - see Malaysiakini article The Umno factor in Penang politics.
Jeff lambasted the UMNO federal government's powerful Economic Planning Unit for filtering off foreign direct investment (FDI) into the state. He said: "Umno has not been very supportive of the Gerakan in terms of allowing more value-added and state of the art companies to come to Penang."
He needs to do more than that as the BB voters are fairly sophisticated and have their own impression of the government and how to fix the BN, that is, if they want to. Chia Kwang Chye no doubt will be campaigning to convince them otherwise.
More than that, they are practical - they want to know what he'll do for them. The blogging reputation may strike a chord only with those familiar with the Internet, but these aren’t exactly the majority.
I hope to see Jeff pull a few rabbits out of his ... er ... browser ;-)