[Malaysiakini : Uncensored talk show] Youngest MP Nie Ching desires to serve well

12 09 2008

~ Rahmah Ghazali

“No, I didn’t lobby to be a candidate. In fact, the party offered the candidacy to me,” was the response from a surprised Teo Nie Ching when asked on the ‘Uncensored’ talk show whether it was tough lobbying to be the DAP candidate for Serdang.

When told by host Francis Siah that DAP members, like other parties, would normally lobby to be electoral candidates, Nie Ching (who requested to be addressed as such) said she did not have to do that in her case.

“I think the DAP was scouting for suitable candidates at that time and I happen to be ‘available’ and interested in politics, particularly in wanting to strengthen the opposition as I believe strongly in a two-party democratic system,” she said.

That the 27-year-old lawyer came from a ‘highly politicised’ family certainly helps. Nie Ching’s father was a long time DAP member – so were her siblings. In fact, one of her sisters also contested for the Labis seat (in Johore) for the DAP in the March 8 polls.

Victory never on her mind

Nie Ching also conceded at no time during the election did she ever think she would win.

“Even my friends gave up hope on me. I was considered silly to contest, in fact.”

She agreed that she must have some kind of lucky charm in her political career so far. Yah, Nie Ching didn’t even have to lobby to stand on the DAP ticket in the first place and she won her parliamentary seat on her maiden contest.

In the process, she created history for herself as Malaysia’s youngest member of parliament. Nurul Izzah (Lembah Pantai MP) is a year older at 28.

Life as an elected legislator is no bed of roses, as Nie Ching gradually discovers.

She lamented the ‘zero’ financial assistance from the government for her constituency just because she represents the opposition.

“This must change if DAP is part of the federal government one day. MPs from the opposition must also be given allocations. We must be fair as all MPs have a moral obligation to serve their constituents. The government in power must help all,” she said.

Can’t find time to date

On what she dislikes most about politics, Nie Ching thinks it’s ‘the lack of time’.

“Often, you just cannot find time to attend all the functions and events expected of an MP or a community leader. I feel bad when I have to turn down invitations because it is just impossible to attend all. I really have to appeal for my constituents’ understanding on this matter,” she said with an apologetic smile.

On her priorities for Serdang, Nie Ching said traffic congestion and security would be two major hurdles for her to climb. She can foresee the tough ride ahead but is equally confident of managing the tasks ahead well.

Malaysia’s youngest MP also spoke candidly about her financial draw-down as an MP, how she juggles with her allowance as an MP and the simple life she leads.

In a lighter vein, she says she is a happy single girl and not dating because she has problems finding time for herself since her plunge into active politics.

On her choice of a guy, well – just view the video on mkini.tv and  you will know her answer. 

This article is taken from Malaysiakini.


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