Mah touches base, Dyana stumbles and falls

Mah touches base, Dyana stumbles and falls
Barisan Nasional's Mah Siew Keong.

Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong was still in the navy blue shirt that he wore to cast his vote when his car arrived at the Gerakan base camp at about 11pm to jubilant cheers.

The fact that he voted in the by-election spoke of his ties to Teluk Intan - the Barisan Nasional man was born and bred there and he had continued to serve the constituency even when he was out in the political wilderness.

In contrast, DAP's Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud could not even vote for herself because she had parachuted into town on the eve of the polls.

Yet, everyone had thought she would win. It was somewhat like love at first sight except that the infatuation faded rather too quickly.

The first to fall out of love were the journalists covering her.

They realised after a few days that Dyana's intellect did not quite measure up to her looks.

She kept to a few well-rehearsed lines beyond which senior DAP leaders such as Lim Kit Siang would reach for the microphone to answer on her behalf.

Dyana has potential but she does not have a sharp learning curve and some reporters even joked that Lim was the real candidate.

One spunky reporter decided to corner her while she was campaigning in town.

Dyana dodged the reporter, who in her frustration, asked why she was afraid to answer the question.

The beautiful face slipped briefly and the reporter was rewarded with a scowl. It was not even a tough question, just something about electricity tariff rates in Perak given that Dyana had pledged to speak out on cost of living issues.

There have been all kinds of discussion out there claiming that Dyana lost because of race-based voting. Her race and religion were definitely factors - that is the reality of Malaysian politics.

But it is much more likely that a large number who voted for Barisan Nasional could see that Mah was more capable of delivering what Teluk Intan folk need - local jobs, better municipal services, business incentives and facilities for the young.

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