TELUK INTAN, May 17:

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has just announced Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud as the party’s candidate for the upcoming Teluk Intan parliamentary seat by-election.

Dyana Sofya is party adviser Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary.

According to Guan Eng, the decision to field Dyana was based on several factors, which included her young age, which is seen as a reflection of the DAP’s future.

“We give room to women in a bid towards boosting gender equality.

“We want to portray DAP’s multiracial principle of working for all Malaysians,” he said.

The announcement was made at the launch of DAP’s Teluk Intan election machinery centre here this afternoon.

The launch was attended by the opposition coalition’s top brass which included Kit Siang, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, DAP acting chairman Tan Kok Wai and Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming among others.

Meanwhile, Teluk Intan’s own “Superman”, who was DAP’s original favourite to contest for the parliamentary seat, said that it will be an uphill battle for Dyana Sofya in winning the seat.

This, particularly from the Chinese community whICH might be a little “sceptical” in the party’s selection this time around.

“Dyana’s winnability, therefore, depends on the entire party machinery.

“Character is not the problem, as me, even as the famed Superman, still needS the party’s assistance,” said Hew Kuan Yau, who has been nicknamed Superman for his fondness of wearing T-shirts bearing the famous superhero’s logo.

Hew is also DAP’S former election publicity chief.

“I have openly declared that I will give way to her, as my ‘sifu’ (master) Kit Siang said that based on his analysis, she is more suited to win and I adhere to his words.

“I believe he (Kit Siang) is right,” Hew told The Rakyat Post today, hours before Dyana Sofya was officially named as a candidate.

However, online newsportal Malaysiakini last night had quoted party insiders in saying that DAP, after deliberating, had decided to field the newbie.

Hew said Dyana, a relative greenhorn in the arena, will have to counter local sentiments to prove her mettle.

“I must say that local sentiments, especially in a predominantly Chinese area, can pull her down and, therefore, Dyana will have to counter various issues… but she can ace it with the party’s backing.

“She is a newbie and has to be physically and mentally prepared for this, but Superman will go down to help, too.”

On the possible chances of a landslide victory, Hew said he was not too optimistic, but said “anything can happen”.

“It might happen, or might not, but we cannot anticipate the outcome or put our hopes up too high just yet,” said Hew, who holds a PhD in history, and who is also an ardent cartoonist.

Prior to her being named, Dyana seems to have taken her “political turbulence” well.

This came after she became the victim of a smear campaign after her name was thrown in the hat as a possible candidate for the by-election.

A picture of a Philippine actress Pauleen Luna in a pink bikini was uploaded by a Facebook user who alleged that the picture in question was that of Dyana Sofya.

The user, who posted the picture, has taken it down since then.

In responding to the incident, Dyana Sofya, in a statement, urged the public to grow up.

“To tarnish my image further, there appears to be a photo of me allegedly wearing a bikini. While I think the Pinay actress in question is very attractive, I feel this really displays the level of guttural politics that our opponents would go to, especially against a female. Guys, please grow up,” said Dyana Sofya.

The Teluk Intan by-election is being held after the death of its incumbent Seah Leong Peng of DAP from cancer earlier this month.

During the 13th General Election, Seah defeated Gerakan’s Datuk Mah Siew Keong with a 7,313-vote majority.

Polling is set to take place on May 31. Nomination date is set for this Monday.