Malaysian parties on the go
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has arguably been the busiest politician in the run-up to the general election. But the prime minister is not the only one with a tight schedule as both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat intensify their campaigning without waiting for the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) to be dissolved.
Politicians based in the rural Malay heartland in particular have their hands full with numerous weddings and other community events.
Kelantan Umno chief and Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed said that he had a lot of weddings to attend.
“Also, many outstation voters are back home and it is important to touch base with them,” he added.
Politicians in urban and semi-urban areas said that school holidays made no difference to their hectic schedule.
Malaysian Chinese Association vice president and Deputy Finance Minister Donald Lim also said that he had received a lot more invitations recently, but had only so much time to attend the functions.
“Trying to go to all of them would be a challenge,” he added.
Democratic Action Party (DAP) politicians said the holidays had not affected the turnout at their party functions.
DAP national organising secretary and Rasah MP Anthony Loke said: “We have been keeping the same pace from January because we thought Parliament would be dissolved right after Chinese New Year.”
Party colleague and Selangor Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim said the DAP had been campaigning hard for the last two years.
Meanwhile, Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said he had been working up to 17 hours a day, often going from house to house.
“I have been distributing key chains with the label Koi Orang Temerloh (I am a Temerloh guy) which is the same branding I used in 2008,” he added.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said she had been visiting single mothers, old folks homes and orphanages.
Johor Umno information chief and Semarang assemblyman Samsol Bari Jamali said he had been kept busy meeting voters, attending one to four functions a day, not including party events.
Gambir assemblyman M. Asojan said he spent at least three days a week meeting voters.