By THO XIN YI firstname.lastname@example.org
AS NOMINATION day for the 13th general election (GE13) looms, political parties have begun to launch their operations centres to prepare for the war ahead.
Besides a meeting point for party supporters and volunteers to coordinate campaigning activities, the operations centres also assist the public to check their voter registration details.
While existing party offices function as such centres during the election period, some candidates also rent offices and shoplots in strategic locations to reach out to more voters.
Those blessed with staunch supporters are offered spaces to be used as operations centres for free.
The Regalia Business Centre in USJ 1, Subang Jaya, will come alive during the campaigning period because both MCA and DAP have opened operations centres there.
Kelana Jaya MCA, whose office is located in Jalan USJ 1/1A, set up an operations centre in Jalan USJ 1/1B.
USJ East DAP, meanwhile, operates from Jalan USJ 1/1C.
Kelana Jaya MCA chairman Ong Chong Swen said the division chose the ground-floor unit at Jalan USJ 1/1B for the operations centre because it was more convenient and had better visibility.
She added that there would be about 45 Barisan Nasional operations centres within the parliamentary constituency, inclusive of 38 centres set up in each polling district.
“The operations centre can be an office, a shoplot, under a canopy or even something as simple as two tables and a laptop.
“I have received invitations to visit the centres opened by our supporters,” she said.
Although she is not a candidate in the Kelana Jaya parliamentary and Subang Jaya state constituencies, Ong said the division’s operations centre would still run as usual until May 4 and the polling district centres until May 5.
“As a responsible leader, I have to carry out my task. This main centre is where we distribute information and resources, such as flyers and BN flags,” she said. On MCA facing off against its oponent, DAP, in the same business centre, Ong said Kelana Jaya MCA had been operating its office there since November 2008.
“DAP opening its service centre here has proven that this is a prime location,” she said.
Meanwhile, Selangor MCA Public Complaints Bureau deputy chairman Kelvin Chong, the candidate for the Kampung Tunku state seat, has opened five operations centres.
The main centre is located in Jalan 21/19 in Sea Park, while the rest are in Sungai Way, SS3 and Len Seng Garden.
There are two centres in Sungai Way — one in the MCA branch office and the other in a shoplot.
“The operational costs for the centres are about RM3,500 each month, including rental and utility bills,” he said.
Chong added that he rented the places for two months.
The Kinrara state constituency, on the other hand, is covered by five Pakatan Rakyat operations centres.
Kinrara DAP campaign manager Loka Ng said four of them are existing DAP offices in Taman Kinrara Seksyen 3, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Batu 14 Puchong and Prima Avenue 3 at Batu 10 Puchong.
“The fifth one is an office unit located on the first floor of a shoplot in Jalan USJ 19/4.
“It is offered to us temporarily for free by a supporter,” he said.
Ng said the operations centre at USJ 19 was essential to serve the voters from USJ 16 to 22, which fall under the Kinrara state constituency.
“Besides, we can also help to cover other parts of USJ in the Subang Jaya state constituency as our Subang Jaya team only has two centres in SS14 and USJ 1,” he said.
The opening hours of the USJ 19 operations centre are from 2pm to 10pm on weekdays, and 11am to 6pm on weekends.
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