At 32, Peggy Koo Pei Chee is the youngest candidate fielded by BN in Penang for the 14th General Elections (14th GE). Pix by Ramdzan Masiam

GEORGE TOWN: Candidates with a more beautiful face can generally attract more votes.

But for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate for the Batu Lancang state seat, Peggy Koo Pei Chee, it is not just about a pretty face.

At 32, she is the youngest candidate fielded by BN in Penang for the 14th General Elections (14th GE).

The Penang Gerakan acting Beliawanis chief is hoping that voters will not make their voting decisions based on candidates’ looks.

“I hope that voters will be focused more on policies than personality,” she told the NSTP.

Koo, who graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia with a Bachelor of Arts in Education degree, admitted that it would not be easy to turn the tide in Batu Lancang, formerly held by DAP’s Danny Law Heng Kiang.

Koo, who will be up against former Penang Island City councillor Ong Ah Teong, was first introduced to Gerakan during her university days.

Back them, she joined the Young Malaysians Movement (YMM), an NGO that engages in social work, aimed at developing youth’s potential and direct their collective effort in order to bring about social changes and advancement.


“But when I think of what would need to change for the people, I was to able to imagine myself going against the odds,” said Koo. Pix by Shahnaz Fazlie Shahrizal

The YMM advisor at that time was Teng Chang Yeow, the present Penang BN chairman.

Koo said she was initially reluctant to stand as candidate when approached by the party several months back.

She hesitated due to her commitment at work and with family.

Given the bulk of responsibilities, Koo does not see how she could make it compatible with those other responsibilities as an election candidate.

“But when I think of what would need to change for the people, I was to able to imagine myself going against the odds,” said Koo.

Her campaign slogan is “make our voice matter”.

Koo is looking forward to work closely with other young Gerakan candidates in Penang.

They are state Gerakan publicity bureau chief Ooi Zhi Yi and acting state Gerakan Youth chief Jason Loo, who will be contesting in the Kebun Bunga and Pulau Tikus state seats respectively.

“Together, we are using social media to improve campaign engagement.

“Using social networking outreach tools such as Facebook and Twitter, we identified supporters and brought people in closer touch with the electoral process,” she said.

Koo said it was showing results as they reached out to voters who had been cynical and disengaged from the political process, at the very time when the electoral stakes are very high.