KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — MIC's Datuk A. Kohilan Pillay today said he was confident he can resolve a “boycott” by MCA members who were unhappy with his candidacy in the Batu seat here, saying this is not a big issue at all to him and he would take the diplomatic approach.
Kohilan confirmed he was “100 per cent” confident that MCA would help to campaign for him in the 15th general election (GE15) once he talks with them.
“MCA is part of BN, they are friends, they are 'saudara', so I strongly believe that in one, two days, I can even sit down with them.
“This is within the family so I don't see any big issue here,” he told reporters after his nomination for Batu.
While he confirmed that none of the MCA members were present today, Kohilan said: “But as what I've said earlier, I'll use the diplomatic way in handling this matter. I will sit down and sort it out.
“As a former deputy foreign minister, I have experience in handling all diplomatic issues between countries and this is not a big issue for me,” he said.
Asked if there would be a threat to Barisan Nasional's unity if his talks with MCA falls apart or does not happen, he said: “No, no, because we know our friends. So 100 per cent we can solve this matter, so there's no issue at all.”
Yesterday, the Batu MCA branch reportedly shut down its election operations centre to protest the seat being given to MIC, with several MCA members seen in a video tearing down a banner in front of the centre.
This came after conflicting announcements about whether MCA or MIC would be contesting in Batu.
On his campaign, Kohilan said he is banking on being a “local boy” for the GE15 fight for Batu.
He said he had studied at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Delima in Batu itself, continued on at SMK Raja Abdullah nearby, and started his teaching career at a college close the constituency, adding he believed he consequently knew what mattered to its voters.
“I know what are the issues here, so, I will surely tackle all the issues once I become an MP of this area,” he said, citing examples such as parking problems and floods.
He also believed he could capture support from young voters, saying: “Yes, because I’m youth in my heart, so I’m confident.”
He also claimed that the parents of many of these youths would have been his students or his staff, and further cited his service as a Majlis Perbandaran Selayang councillor.
As for the 10-way fight for the seat, he noted that his rivals were very friendly and said it was a very healthy competition.
“I hope there won’t be any political attacks and so on, more on how and what they can deliver, that should be the main topic when they ceramah,” he said.
Separately, Perikatan Nasional candidate Azhar Yahya noted that he had managed to win over 10,000 votes previously when contesting in Batu for the first time and felt he has a chance at winning the seat this time around.
Azhar, who is from PAS, said the Covid-19 lockdowns were particularly challenging for Batu residents, and said the party machinery had actively gone to the ground to help residents.
“For example, floods, Batu is also affected, like Kampung Delima here, our machinery made ‘Dapur Rakyat’ (kitchens), cleaned houses, we have ‘unit amal’. So, we are down to earth, if given a chance to govern, we can do 10 times more,” he told reporters when met after being nominated.