How This 31-Year-Old Contending For BN Hopes To Make Things Better For Malaysia
"People told me I am the underdog and that I am going up against a giant."
A fresh face to many but no stranger to her community is 31-year-old former deputy public prosecutor Chan Quin Er, who is contending in Seputeh for the first time this GE14
Starting from a young age of 18, Quin Er became active in MCA by raising funds to support her community.
"We used the money we raised and bought a dialysis machine to do hemodialysis treatment for the underprivileged in our community," she told SAYS in a recent interview.
Born and raised in Old Klang Road, her passion lies in seeing her community improve. However, she admitted that it wasn't always easy for her family.
"I know what it feels to be displaced having lived at the 4th Mile Jalan Kelang Lama when I was young. My home was acquired by the government to widen the road 20 years ago," she said.
"Contrary to popular belief, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Yes, my dad is someone prominent in society but we also came from a very difficult background," she added.
Armed with a law degree, BN candidate Quin Er is proud to say that she is rather patriotic and feels attached to serve a calling to help her nation
Having volunteered in TUDM (Royal Malaysian Air Force) in Sungai Besi, Quin Er went through training, camped in the jungle for two weeks, and went five days without showering, all of which she feels really enriched her and built her character.
When she graduated from law school, she noticed that everyone around her jumped into law firms. Meanwhile, Quin Er found herself going in the opposite direction and joined the attorney-general's chamber.
"I liked the sense of accomplishment when I go into work everyday, the decisions I make and the actions I take, no matter how small, will help me make a positive impact on the larger side of society and that is my objective."
Quin Er believes that listening to people, even if their views clash with yours is a key skill a politician needs to have.
"In our political climate, there are just too many rumours, untrue news, and hateful speech. I think I stand for the generation that wants to speak up and speak the truth, but with kind intentions. When you act out of kindness, no one can really harm you."
She added that she believes she has a relatable background and hopes for people to find her approachable as a young politician
"Malaysians can look forward to moderate politics. I will be daring enough to speak up and to call out if there's wrongdoing. I will not be afraid to be unpopular because I believe doing things the right way is important. I stand for a batch of new accountable leaders. You can hold me accountable for everything I say."
Quin Er faces her fair share of backlash. She conveyed that people have questioned her choice of the party she represents.
"I take it with an open heart. I want to tell Malaysians that I am unafraid, if you disagree with me, I will listen to you."
Although labelled as an "underdog" facing her "giant" opponent, Teresa Kok, who has won the constituency seat since 2004, Quin Er believes she has the necessary experience despite her age.
"I've had four years serving as a public servant, federal council, and specialising in legal research, so I understand what we need and where the laws of our country should be headed towards," she added.
Her heart lies for the elderly in society and Quin Er hopes to be able to stand up on behalf of them
"When I become member of the Parliament, I want to push for the legislative change to criminalise the act of abandoning or ill-treating elderly parents. We do not have a law like that. We have laws to protect our children, women, our environment, and endangered animals but not our elderly… so let's have laws to punish people who abandon their parents."
As this is her first time running for elections, Quin Er is said to have faced an unexpected surprise
"I don't want to be cocky but I'm surprised that I've been able to convert some hardcore DAP supporters who are now supportive of me. I was told that they could relate to my experience as a young professional and what I think I can change in my country," she said.
In regards to facing Pakatan Harapan's Teresa Kok, MCA candidate Quin Er said, "I have a lot of respect for her. She's a nice lady. But I feel, Seputeh has been taken for granted for far too long.
"We've had the same party ruling this place and the same MP for the past 20 years. So, I think Seputeh is ready for a breath of fresh air. Someone who truly cares about the community and is daring enough to speak up in Parliament. I think I'm ready for that."
Another fresh face is DAP's contender, Michelle Ng. Find out why she returned to Malaysia to run as candidate for Subang Jaya:
Catch up on recent GE14-related news on SAYS: