Malaysia’s 13th General Election

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Tan Kok Eng, confident and upbeat

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Kok Eng, the MCA candidate who will be contesting the Bandar Tun Razak parliament seat in the coming general election, has many reasons to feel upbeat.

The 33-year old is one of the youngest candidates named  on Tuesday by the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership to contest for a parliamentary seat.

Kok Eng, who tied the knot last year, is also the proud  father of a 10-month old baby girl.

And last night (tuesday night) some 1,000 supporters turned up at the BN service centre in Taman Tenaga here in  Bandar Tun Razak to attend a simple ceremony held to introduce him to the residents there.

There was thunderous applause and cheering when the slim bespectacled Kok Eng, who is also MCA Youth division  chief, took to the microphone and pledged his loyalty to the crowd.

“I promise to work even harder than my father, “ said Kok Eng, referring to Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho, former three-term  MP for the constituency until 2008.

The older Tan, 64,  lost his bid for a fourth term when he  was defeated by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Tan Sri Abdul Khalid  Ibrahim by a 2,515 majority in the 2008 general election.

Kok Eng is confident and feels that he has the upper hand  to wrest the seat with the support of his father and the entire  BN machinery working in sync.

 “I’m happy to be given a chance by the prime minister and  I’m confident of winning,” he said.

 Kok Eng, who still lives with his father, said that Tan senior,  who is MCA treasurer-general, is his mentor and adviser,  who is familiar with the people and their issues in the  constituency.

 “My father is hardworking, he is always on the ground,  talking to people, listening to their problems, and coming up  with good solutions. And MCA  has maintained the two service centres here over the last four years even though we lost in  2008,” he added.

Kok Eng, who has a degree in finance and has a professional company secretary qualification, has also familiarised himself with the people of Bandar Tun Razak and the issues they faced since he became a MCA member 13 years  ago.

He knows what’s in store. Becoming MP for Bandar Tun  Razak meant doubling up as a state assemblyman as there  are no state representatives for the Federal Territory.

This would mean having to address local problems as  well.

Kok Eng said the most prevalent issues faced in the area  was crime, traffic congestion and flash floods.

And he already knows what he will do if he is voted in - to  put together a team of professionals to solve these problems.

“The prime minister mentioned once at an event that this  area carries his father’s name, and so it must be won by the  BN, so I’m going to work extra hard for the PM and for BN,  Kok Eng said.

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