CANDIDATES must not allow themselves to be fooled by opportunists who will use the upcoming national general elections as an opportunity to make money.
Former MP and intending candidate Moon Pin Quan, made the warning during an interview in Kira Kira last week where he launched his campaign to contest the Central Makira seat.
“Be warned not to believe anything you hear,” Mr Quan, who was born in Makira/Ulawa Province of Chinese parents, said.
“There are con-people everywhere, their agenda is to make a buck or two out of intending candidates as the elections are approaching.
“So be alert and be vigilant during these times,” he added.
Mr Quan claimed that conmen are misleading some intending candidates into childishly believing that they have already won a seat in Parliament.
“One common trick these people use is to say that they are unhappy with their current MP and would cast their votes in favour of another candidate.
“One only needs to cast their mind back to any past election to appreciate the disappointment of numerous candidates who have been tricked in this way before polling day,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Quan said it is the responsibility of every intending candidate to represent the interests and aspirations of the people of a particular constituency.
“People will see you (candidates) as their voice and to some extent their saviour with loads of money to hand out to the needy.
“People are going to analyze, assess and dissect each of you in order to rate you against the others,” he said.
According to Mr Quan how candidates are rated will be based on the people’s perception of them whether they are seen as rich, kind, flexible and able to help ordinary folks like themselves or unkind, selfish and not likely to ever help people in need.
“Most people think that everyone who runs a business or owns a shop is a millionaire and therefore they appreciate that such a person would never share his or her wealth with others.
“In many cases help always means cash and items of value and never in terms of ideas to help themselves,” he said.
Mr Quan maintains that as an intending candidate this is the biggest hurdle you will need to overcome.
“You will need to convince the people to think otherwise.
“To be completely honest, this is a common question asked by voters during the 2010 general elections.
“A consolation was that few of the people who won during the 2010 elections turned out to be self-serving MPs as far as their supporters are concerned and may not be re-elected this time round,” he said.
Mr Quan further highlighted that there have been many questions asked about the intention of former MPs who are seeking re-election this year.
“The thing you need to be aware of all the time as a former MP is that people are constantly judging you on the good things you may or may not have done.
“People do have long memories and sadly it is the bad things that they tend to remember longer than the good things you have done either for them or the country as a whole,” he said.
Mr Quan, on the other hand, personally believes in revisiting the past to get the bearing for the future of Solomon Islands.
He said the country has been side-tracked by short term and unsustainable forms of development, which is the wrong kind of development, since independence and they must be addressed now.
“Examples are destructive logging and overharvesting of the country’s natural resources or the concentration of socio-economic development in Honiara and not even throughout the country,” he said.
Mr Quan is among 19 candidates who will be contesting the Central Makira Constituency and has made clear his willingness to be part of the next government despite campaigning as an independent candidate.
By PHILIP LILOMO