Free Malaysia Today, May 4, 2013
Political analyst and DAP Serdang candidate Ong Kian Ming is confident of beating veteran BN leader Yap Pian Hon in the polls.
BANGI: DAP’s Ong Kian Ming is confident of winning the Serdang parliamentary seat in the much-anticipated polls tomorrow.
Ong told FMT today that he was “fairly confident” of capturing the seat and defeating MCA’s Yap Pian Hon, who had been Serdang MP from 1995 to 2008, when Barisan Nasional chose not to field him as a candidate.
The 38-year-old Ong is a familiar face in the country’s political landscape, with his political analyses widely published in several popular online and print publications.
He was a Fullbright scholar and has a PhD in political science from the US-based Drake University. He also has economics degrees from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University.
In an exclusive interview, Ong tells FMT of his plans for Serdang if elected MP, and of Pakatan Rakyat’s predicted win in the 13th general election.
FMT: How familiar are you with Serdang and what would you say are the main problems of the residents?
Ong: I’m familiar with some parts of Serdang like the UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) area and also the South City area, having visited these places numerous times.
The most pressing local problem are poor planning of the traffic system, crime and schools.
What is the reception towards your campaign there?
The reception has been fantastic! People in the Seri Kembangan market recognised me after a few days of campaigning. After one week of campaigning, the voters in Bangi were similarly welcoming.
What will you offer the constituency and what are you immediate plans if you get elected as a representative?
If I am fortunate enough to be elected as MP, I will move to Serdang and Serdang will be my home from now on. I will strive to be a full-time resident of Serdang in every aspect of my daily life and experience. I will strive to learn the local dialects including Hakka, and continue to improve my Mandarin and Malay so that I can have a better understanding of the local culture of Serdang and to promote the interests of Serdang voters and residents more effectively.
My immediate plans would be to find a temporary place to rent before buying a property in the Serdang area. I will start going to the ground in a systematic manner – meeting residential associations, school committees, temple, church and surau committees – so that I can cover all of the areas in Serdang within one year. I will also prepare to represent Serdang on policy issues in Parliament
How confident are you of capturing the seat?
I am fairly confident mostly because of the hard work that Teo Nie Ching (former Serdang MP), Ean Yong Hian Wah (incumbent Seri Kembangan state assemblyman) and Eddie Ng Tien Chee (candidate for Balakong state seat) and Ustaz Mohd Shafie Ngah (candidate for Bangi state seat) have put in.
How do you think Pakatan Rakyat as a whole will fair this GE?
I think Pakatan will squeeze through with a small majority.
Any personal message to the rakyat before they vote?
Please cast a vote for democracy and for a brighter, better and bolder future.