Dear residents and voters of P102 Serdang,
After careful consideration, I have made two very important personal decisions:
1) If I am fortunate to be elected as your Member of Parliament, I will move to Serdang and Serdang will be my home from now on. I will strive to be a full resident of Serdang in every aspect of my daily life and experience.
2) If I am fortunate to be elected as your Member of Parliament, I will strive to learn the local dialects including Hakka, and continue to improve my Mandarin and Malay so that I can have a better understanding of the local cultures of Serdang and to promote the interests of Serdang voters and residents more effectively.
This is not just an empty political promise. This is something I sincerely believe in.
If a wakil rakyat is unable to experience local life, and unable to understand local needs and concerns, how can he be qualified to represent his constituents? Surely the best way for a wakil rakyat to judge public sentiment and feelings is to learn the local language and spend as much time as possible with the people he serves.
This is not just an empty political promise. This is a question of personal principles.
I truly regret that I was not able to come to Serdang earlier and get to know the people of Serdang before I was announced as a candidate for Parliament. I was living in the United States for 6 years while doing my PhD there before coming back in April 2010. Since 2010, I have been living in Petaling Jaya to be near my elderly parents and to visit them often. The Democratic Action Party (DAP) decided that I should contest in Serdang only this week, so because of this I was not able to come to Serdang.
To my beloved parents: I am very sorry that I will be moving away from your home to a place that is further away from you both. Nonetheless, this is a great responsibility that I must and want to carry out, and I hope that you will be proud of my decision.
This is not just an empty political promise. This is a question of political courage.
It is not easy to migrate to an unfamiliar environment, nor is it easy to learn a new language. However, one of my most important goals in life is to keep learning and keep trying new things. If one does not try or learn, one cannot live well. Trying and learning new things also means learning about local practices, local languages and local political issues as well.
On a national level, being willing to ‘try and learn new things’ also means being willing to try and experience the uncertainty of political reforms. But if Malaysians think that reform is too difficult a challenge, how will we be able to build our nation and have a better tomorrow?
I hope that my two decisions – to move to Serdang and to challenge myself to learn the local languages, cultures and issues – will encourage everyone to take up the challenge of supporting reform in Malaysia. Even if we have to move out of our comfort zones, we must never give up. The Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Pakatan Rakyat coalition believes that with reforms, we can have a new hope for Malaysia.
If you, dear reader, still believe that reform is too difficult to do, I welcome you to come talk to us and discuss with us your concerns.
Thank you all. I hope to see all of you in Serdang!
Dr. Ong Kian Ming
DAP Election Strategist
Parliamentary Candidate for P102 Serdang
Saturday, 20 April 2013