Zairil or not, tough road to Teluk Intan for Dyana Sofya

A source said the young leader has not been putting in appearances during recent rallies. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A source said the young leader has not been putting in appearances during recent rallies. — Picture by Choo Choy May

TELUK INTAN, March 12 — DAP Socialist Youth national executive councillor Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud made her electoral debut here in 2014, but residents are not expecting her to run again for the seat she failed to win in a two-horse race with Gerakan’s Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

After years of denial that they were dating, she announced her engagement to Penang DAP vice-chairman Zairil Khir Johari over the weekend.

As questions swirl around the union’s effects on the couple’s political futures, Teluk Intan residents told Malay Mail they do not see Dyana mounting another challenge against Mah, who beat her by a mere 238 votes in 2014.

“She was not even present during the party’s Chinese New Year open house recently. If you want to be the candidate, surely you would turn up as that is when you meet the voters,” NH Teh said.

Teh was among those who viewed the confirmation of Zairil and Dyana’s relationship unfavourably, noting the denials by the two when rumours first surfaced.

“Previously, she denied being involved with Zairil Khir Johari, but now they are getting married,” added the 50-year-old.

Another resident who asked to be named only as Soo said Dyana’s standing among Chinese voters should not be badly affected by the news.

“(But) news of her impending marriage may affect support for her by the Malay community,” said the 32-year-old.

Soo pointed out Dyana was fielded during the 2014 Teluk Intan by-election as DAP wanted to tap Malay votes in Changkat Jong.

Despite Soo’s prediction, Fadzlina Abu Bakar said the engagement will not affect public support for Dyana, should she run here in the general election.

She said the two DAP leaders’ relationship was a private matter.

“People will still support her if she contests in elections as she is pretty,” said the 34-year-old.

However, a DAP source said it was unlikely Dyana would be picked as a candidate for Teluk Intan.

Like Teh, the source said the young leader has not been putting in appearances at recent rallies.

“She (also) lost her shine after courting controversies over compromising pictures and videos of her surfaced,” the person said.

Zairil and Dyana were engaged at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel in Ipoh on Saturday, with a wedding planned before the end of the year.

Zairil is Penang DAP vice-chairman and Bukit Bendera MP, while Dyana is a member of the DAP Socialist Youth national executive council.

Prior to their engagement, the two had repeatedly denied rumours of a relationship, even after purportedly intimate photographs were leaked online in early 2017.

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