I have contested in elections since 2008. But this is the first time I am contesting a state seat, at the instruction of the party’s leadership.
Interestingly, the state seat of Perling in Johor that I am vying for now has more than a hundred thousand voters, a much larger seat than each of the parliamentary seats I had previously contested, namely Bukit Bendera, Penang (2008), Kluang (2013), and Ayer Hitam (2018). It just shows that we need electoral reforms to ensure the fairer idea of one-person-one-vote is adhered to.
The DAP leadership is of the view that Pakatan Harapan must demonstrate to the voters that we are ready to govern again. In all seriousness, we humbly offer our collective governing experiences both at national and at the state level through my candidature and leadership in this campaign.
While I have only contested parliamentary seats, I served as Policy Advisor to the then Penang Chief Minister Sdr Lim Guan Eng and also headed the Penang Institute, which is the think tank for Penang Government.
What I learnt first-hand about heritage management, urban planning and public transportation, are highly relevant to Perling and the greater Johor Bahru, or the Iskandar region.
When I was the Member of Parliament for Kluang, even though we were in the opposition then, my team and I promoted community building activities to bring pride and dynamism to small towns in Johor.
Over the years, I have also been advocating for economic transformation for Johor and Malaysia.
If we get our acts together as a nation, Malaysia will see another spring, with Johor as the economic locomotive.
For too long, Malaysia has been stuck. The old model is not working but the new is not fully established yet. Malaysia has wasted the last decade as the nation drifted without any real purpose.
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1. A vote for Pakatan Harapan is a vote to reaffirm our faith that Johor and Malaysia deserves better.
2. A vote for Pakatan Harapan is a vote to say no to a corrupt system that favours only a small group of well-connected people, at the expense of ordinary people.
Often we think corruption is a victimless crime. But corruption deprives young people and those who have no connections of opportunities. A young person who wants to set up a shop would experience corruption at the bottom level. His or her costs of doing business, and barrier of entry, increased just because of corruption. And such things go all the way up.
No wonder so many Malaysians lose faith and lose hope, especially Johoreans. Many of our young and brightest have to work in Singapore or elsewhere because they don’t get the opportunities to thrive here.
3. A vote for Pakatan Harapan is a vote for a government that cares about every member of Bangsa Johor, and not resort to race and religion.
We may differ in the way we pray but most of us pray for very similar things in life. We pray health and happiness. We pray for food on the table for our family.
We want peace and security, we want better jobs and better pay, we want better business environment, we want better housing, better healthcare, better public transport, we want clean water and safe environment and climate, we want better education for the next generation.
Our aspirations are similar, our destinies are the same. Bangsa Johor is one united people. Our diversity is our asset. And Bangsa Johor should be the role model for Bangsa Malaysia.
I plead to you to give Johor and Malaysia another chance to build a better future for all.
Let us make this Johor election a watershed moment in our nation’s history in which we reject the old and embrace the new, however difficult the long haul rebuilding work is.
The Johor election is an opportunity for all of us to vote for a better Malaysia. A new hope will begin in Johor.