HOW do you campaign and get your message across when 50% of the voters in your constituency do not live there anymore?
For Barisan Nasional candidate for Bukit Bintang, Tan Teik Peng, 42, it means using online platforms to reach out to the voters in the constituency.
Tan, who is the Federal Territory MCA Youth chief, said he had recruited a team of young people who will utilise Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube to create short videos to reach out to the Bukit Bintang electorate during his campaign trail for the 15th General Election (GE15).
“When you have more than 50% of the electorate not living in Bukit Bintang anymore, how do you convince them to vote for you on Nov 19,” Tan asked.
“Via social media of course,’’ he quipped.
“Our analysis shows that over 50% of voters in Bukit Bintang have relocated and some have even migrated.
“When we visited the old walk-up flats in Imbi, literally everyone that opened the door to us when we knocked were foreigners, either from Bangladesh and Nepal who were working around the area.
“The landlords and building owners are the voters but they don’t live there anymore,’’ added the father of two.
Tan, however, is not about to dismiss them as he is confident the voters in the constituency will return to vote for GE15.
“We saw this in the last general election when many came back to vote and we expect them to be back for this one too,’’ he added.
Tan said based on the Election Commission data, there were about 79,782 registered voters in Bukit Bintang.
“About 60% to 65% are aged 50 and above, and new voters make up about 9,000 while the Undi18 group has about 2,000 voters.
“There are still 40% of the electorate that we need to reach out to and these are the traders, business owners and residents that we need to convince to vote for Barisan,’’ he said.
Part of Tan’s plans for the constituency include revitalising some of the seedier part of the Bukit Bintang area and to bring back the vibrancy lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One of the places I visited right after nomination day was Petaling Street. We visited the old businesses there, the traders association, the heritage building owners and the clan associations.
“We also plan to address other local issues like the homeless situation, flash floods, rubbish collection and the need for grease traps for the businesses,” he added.
Tan is in a three-way fight with incumbent Fong Kui Lun from Pakatan Harapan-DAP and Edwin Chen (Perikatan Nasional-Bersatu) for Bukit Bintang.
The urban seat has been a DAP stronghold for several elections, with Fong serving as MP there since 1999.