Interview with DAP's Dyana

20 May 2014 / 12:32 H.

Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud (pix) rates herself as an underdog in the contest against the Gerakan president, but she tell theSun's ELLY FAZANIZA that what she and the party is trying to do is to break down the racial barrier. Following is the interview with DAP's Dyana.
Q: What is your campaign strategy to garner the support of the voters?
A: We'll do public engagement programmes and meet as many of the Teluk Intan constituents, and also we'll have ceramah sessions and engagements with the people by going door-to-door to meet them.
Is there a specific age group that you will focus on because there are more elderly voters than youths in Teluk Intan. So, how do you intent to engage both groups in your campaign?
With the youths, you can engage them by using the social media and in special cases at eateries where they hang out. But for the elderly, they require a softer approach.
What is the main issue for the elderly community?
I will raise the issue of price hikes and the cost of living which I believe they are most concerned about. Also, (if they vote) for me, I'll be representing the future of the youth and the women's group. They can also relate to someone who's young like their own child. So, if they choose me, the elderly can see that I'm speaking on behalf of their children's future.
In this parliamentary constituency, there are two state assembly seats – Pasir Bedemar and Changkat Jong. Which of the seats will be the more challenging and why?
We have an advantage in Pasir Bedemar because our assemblyman, Terence Naidu, represents the constituency. In Changkat Jong, it'll be more challenging because it's a Malay majority area and our PAS candidate lost by 1,000 votes there in GE13, so that's something we have to improve on.
How do you intend to engage the Malay voters in Changkat Jong?
Again, we will be going with our party engagement strategy, which is going door-to-door and explaining to them our principles and ideologies.
There have been grouses from small traders here that they are facing problems with the Teluk Intan Municipal Council. Will you be meeting them?
Yes, of course we will have dialogues with them and find a solution to their grouses.
In the last general election, the DAP won the Teluk Intan seat with a majority of over 7,000 votes, what is your target?
Our target is to win the by-election.
You will be contesting against Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong. How do you rate your chances.?
He's a well-respected person and former state assemblyman and MP, and also a local boy... of course, I feel like an underdog. Although it's a tough fight, it doesn't mean I should give up. Right now it's about continuing the legacy left by Seah Leong Peng (the DAP MP for Teluk Intan whose death resulted in the by-election).
There have been talk of you merely warming the seat should you win the by-election?
I haven't heard of that... it's quite a long time to warm the seat, isn't it? I believe that the speculation is totally wrong because I don't think the party would want to waste their resources on me (as a candidate).
It's not something which the DAP would do, choosing someone just to warm a seat. That'll be odd.
Q: Given that you're a young candidate, what are the strengths you have which you feel would enable you to beat your opponent?
A: Both of us have different strengths. For example, he (Mah) knows the ground here well because he's a local, but for me and DAP, what we're trying to do is to break down the racial barrier. It's also to send a message to Malaysians that "Hey, we want to put a stop to racial politics."

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