Penang Front Party (PFP) candidate Jasper Ooi Zong Han said the election campaigning was hard work, regardless of the winning chances. Pic by NSTP/RAMDZAN MASIAM

BUTTERWORTH: Despite being underdogs with slim chances of winning, smaller political parties are working just as hard as their heavyweight opponents.

Penang Front Party (PFP) candidate Jasper Ooi Zong Han said the election campaigning was hard work, regardless of the winning chances.

It takes time, careful planning and very long hours, he added.

Ooi said coming from a party which is only two years old, he had to deal with nay-sayers who told him that he should not have run for the 14th General Election.

“When I tell people that I am contesting, some of them tell me ‘Oh, it’s great to see another party contesting but you would never be able to win’.

“But I tell them that winning is not the only thing that matters.

“Participating, standing up for one’s conviction and learning things are just as important,” he told the NSTP when met during a pasar malam walkabout here.

Ooi, 31, will be contesting for the Bagan Dalam state seat against candidates from Barisan Nasional (BN), PKR, Malaysian United Party and Parti Rakyat Malaysia.

Ooi said it was a disadvantage being a minnow party as they could not muster as many manpower.

Ooi has less than 10 supporters who volunteered to help him on his campaign trail.

He conceded that they were already exhausted, with the polling day more than a week to go.

“Together, we have been meeting people all day, knock on doors all evening, update the social media, draft press releases, prepare speeches and then wake up and do it all again the next day,” he said.

Ooi also acknowledged that very few people could jump right into a campaign for state or federal seat and win.

“Those that can are usually already well known, or very wealthy. But local campaigns can still be won on the basis of hard work, confidence and audacity.

“The point is, it doesn’t matter what other people think - what matters is what you think, and how hard you are willing to work,” said Ooi, an entrepreneur with businesses in the oil and gas industry.