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Interview: From Simpang Pulai To Indera Kayangan

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Chan Ming Kai was one of the young local university students who was swept along in the Reformasi Movement initiated by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI), following his dismissal as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia in 1998.

Then, Chan was in his first year at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor, pursuing a degree in Technology Management.

Upon completion of his studies and returning to his hometown in Ipoh, Chan officially submitted his membership to Parti KeADILan Rakyat (PKR), a new political party set up by DSAI.

Chan said that the reason he joined politics officially was that he wanted to pursue idealism. Not surprisingly, among his course mates, he was not the only one to do so, though they utilised other platforms, including non-governmental organisations.

Asked why he chose PKR, a newbie in the political scene, instead of other more established parties, Chan said he believed in the multi-racial make-up of the party, as race-based politics is no longer relevant moving forward.

He added, “Even though Barisan Nasional is made up of component parties of many different races, the dominant party in the coalition is still a single race party.”

When word got around that Chan would be sent to battle it out in Indera Kayangan in Perlis in GE13, I personally felt it was in poor form for PKR to send him away after all the hard work he has put here in Perak.

However, Chan was very pragmatic when it comes to politics, knowing full well that Simpang Pulai doesn’t belong to him personally, and in fact, he himself wanted to break new grounds for the party in Perlis, especially Indera Kayangan, a stronghold of Barisan Nasional since the first Malaysian General Elections.

Chan was unfazed to contest in a three-cornered fight, and was rather optimistic that the voters would support PKR.

He said, “These days, voters do not go for personalities but parties, so it didn’t matter if constituents in Simpang Pulai know me better than those in Indera Kayangan.”

With a majority of 1092 votes, Chan believes that PKR and the opposition in Perlis, although didn’t manage to wrest the state, have woken up ruling party Barisan Nasional, to not neglect the Rakyat.

At the same time, said Chan, “As the elected representative, I could dispense advice when required, and provide them with the service they need.”

Indera Kayangan constituents are indeed lucky to have such a hard worker at their disposal!

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With love

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