KEPONG, April 15 — Malaysians’ indefatigable spirit akin to that of cockroaches can be seen with how they rise up to overcome the authorities’ alleged attempt to make it harder for them to vote in the 14th general election (GE14), DAP’s Teresa Kok has said.
Kok, who is DAP deputy secretary-general, said the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to fix polling day in the middle of the week would make it difficult for voters residing away from their constituencies to return home and vote.
But she said Malaysians’ responded by becoming even more determined to return home or help others to come back and vote, citing as an example a comment by a Facebook user currently working in Singapore.
“I see a Malaysian working in Singapore saying: ‘This general election, at first, I didn’t plan to come back. But when I saw the EC fixed Wednesday as polling day, I immediately used Singapore dollar 300 to buy a flight ticket. I will fly back that day to Klang to vote’,” she said yesterday at the DAP’s first GE14 ceramah for Kepong.
“We are cockroaches that won’t die despite being hit. The more you hit us, the more we fight back,” she said.
She said the federal government later declared the May 9 polling day as a public holiday, following announcements by private companies that decided to declare their own holidays and even sponsor their employees’ transportation costs to return to their hometowns to vote.
She said other Malaysians have themselves raised funds to sponsor or subsidise those who wanted to fly back from places like Singapore or to Sabah and Sarawak to vote.
“You see, these self-initiated actions, the more you beat us down/suppress us, the greater the backlash from the people will be,” she said.
Kok also cited the Barisan Nasional’s alleged attempt to suppress the federal Opposition, saying that the DAP was disallowed from setting up new party branches due to the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) refusal to recognise the party’s internal polling results.
Kok said the alleged “bullying” had also extended to an “old man’s party”, referring to 92-year-old Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) that was recently provisionally deregistered.
The ceramah yesterday was for DAP’s Kepong candidate Lim Lip Eng, but Kok also urged the voters there to become polling and counting agents in marginal seats in Pahang, such as Bentong, Raub and Cameron Highlands.
During Election 2013, DAP lost the Bentong seat by 462 seats to MCA, but won Raub by a 2,814 vote-majority against MCA. DAP lost Cameron Highlands to MIC by 462 votes in a five-cornered fight.