Barisan Nasional’s strategy on fielding former incumbents might work after all

POLITICAL veterans making comebacks whilst new and fresh faces are making their political debuts. This is the current state of affairs in the country as it prepares for the impending Nov 19 national polls. 

This time, former Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai is returning to wrest back the seat come the much anticipated 15th General Election (GE15), to which Liow who was Bentong MP from 1999-2018 for four terms when he lost to DAP’s Wong Tack during GE14 in 2018. 

His Barisan Nasional (BN) counterpart, P. Kamalanathan will instead be taking on the Port Dickson seat, where its incumbent Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be contesting the Tambun seat. 

P. Kamalanathan (Photo credit: Berita Harian)

MIC’s Kamalanathan had to vacate the Hulu Selangor seat, which he held for two terms since the 2010 by-election and eventually lost to PKR’s June Leow during the 2018 elections when Pakatan Harapan formed the government. It is understood that MIC vice-president Datuk T. Mohan will be replacing the former deputy education minister of education 1. 

Since these two political veterans are making a comeback, it seems that BN is using a different approach to that of Pakatan, while also fielding young candidates, the coalition is also fielding back former incumbents in the electorate again. 

With Wong Tack’s internal fiasco with the top DAP leadership after being dropped as a candidate to be replaced with a young candidate, interestingly also known as Young Syefura Othman who will be contesting under the DAP ticket, Liow may be of the belief that MCA can wrest back the seat it once lost due to Wong who is the current Bentong MP of choice being dropped from his candidacy. 

The Bentong constituency also makes up of a large Malay and Chinese electorate and for many years gave the mandate to Barisan, is also considered a hot seat for both BN and Pakatan, thus the race for Bentong is intense. 

Kamalanathan on the other hand had been a Hulu Selangor popular MP until PKR’s June Leow won by a 13,391 vote-majority. 

Both senior politicians who have managed to develop a good relationship and rapport with their constituents might be given the mandate again by the people. MCA’s Liow always had the support of the people of Bentong, yet many wanted major changes where the MCA had failed to do especially when it came to championing environmental issues where Wong Tack was given the mandate by the people in GE14.   – Nov 2, 2022


Main photo credit: The Straits Times 


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