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‘MIC fears losing to PSM in Sungai Siput’

 | December 22, 2012

Contrary to rumours, the Malays in Sungai Siput are "comfortable" with PSM's socialist tendencies and logo.

TAIPING: Voters in Sungai Siput are no longer blinded by the race and colour of their elected representative and neither are they distracted by Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s socialist tendencies and logo.

Dismissing rumours that Sungai Siput’s 31% Malay community is unhappy, the constituency’s  parliamentary rep Dr M Jayakumar said voters were now more discerning and demanding of their rights.

“The Malay community is comfortable and happy.  They don’t see the party’s socialist tendencies or see the PSM fist logo as a communication barrier when they approach us with their grievances.

“Gone are the days when voters blindly voted for the party logos that they patronize as now they are more demanding for their rights when they cast their votes for a particular candidate,” said Jayakumar who is a member of PSM’s central working committee.

He said PSM in cooperating with PAS members, have penetrated the Malay kampung areas in the Sungai Siput constituency and assisted the residents in their on-going land problems and constant floods.

According to him PSM had gained some ground in addressing the land problems of Kg PPMS, Kg Jeya Setia and Kg Perlop Satu while minimizing the flooding problems of eight kampongs situated along Sungai Pelus.

By 2009, PSM had managed to ensure that the eight- year flooding problem – which was a result of logging activities and silting –  had been resolved by 70%.

The publicity-shy Dr Jayakumar has the credit of also providing four months temporary free bus transport to 20 secondary students of Kg PPMS to their school about 30kms which later had forced the BN state government to provide school hostel facilities for the affected students.

Helping the poor and marginalised

In 2009, PSM created history by cooperating with PAS to build a self-funded RM80,000 hanging bridge for the Kg Perje Orang Asli community to travel the 50kms distance to the town.

Another political mileage was created, when Jayakumar took the federal government to court demanding the right of allocations to be given to opposition law makers which the BN federal government had denied and the case is now pending in the Federal Court.

The social activist cum specialist doctor said that about 50 % of the residents in his constituency are in the lower income group and PSM‘s colour blind political agenda is to uplift their socio-economic status.

He said that his socialist party had been branded as a dangerous communist organization by the authorities and six PSM members were arrested under the then Emergency Ordinance in June 2011 but were later released after much public pressure.

“We were the bogeyman for the authorities to stop the Bersih 2.0 rally,” he lamented.

He explained that PSM is subscribing to the democratic process of helping the poor and marginalized groups through the ballot boxes and not as alleged communists through armed violence as alleged by some quarters.

He pointed out that DAP is also being labeled as a socialist party like PSM but it had not prevented nor discouraged Malay voters and others from voting them in.

Commenting on a recent FMT report of PSM and PKR being at loggerheads over the use of PSM’s logo instead of the PKR banner, Jeyakumar said: “This, I see as a MIC propaganda to create animosity between PKR and us.”

Pakatan won’t risk it

As to the media speculation that MIC Sungai Siput division is divided into factions, he said this is another reason why MIC wants to create a three corner fight to take back the former MIC chief S Samy Vellu’s stronghold.

Jeyakumar sees the reluctance of many MIC leaders to contest in his parliamentary hot seat as a sign that MIC fears losing to PSM’s strong presence in this area.

The Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency has 47,424 voters with Chinese forming the majority with 41%, followed by Malays (31%), Indians (21%) and Orang Asli seven percent.

He does not believe that PKR will go for a three-corner fight with the risk of Pakatan losing the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat to BN in its attempt to take Putrajaya.

“Pakatan leaders must stay focused on the bigger picture of taking Putrajaya instead of squabbling emotionally over minor issues like party banners and logos.

“Our common enemy is Umno BN and we must not forget the theme of ABU (Anything But Umno) in the coming general election,” he reminded.

In the 2008 general election, PSM had contested the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat under the PKR banner. It had done a similar deal for the state seats of Semenyih and Kota Damansara in Selangor.

Jayakumar won Sungai Siput with a 1,821 vote majority over Samy Vellu while PSM chief Dr Nasir Hashim won Kota Damansara.

But PSM lost both in Semenyih and in Jelapang state seat where it contested as an independent.

As to the media speculation that Samy, who has been appointed as Sungai Siput BN chief, might develop the estimated 72 acres of land in Sungai Buloh (Sungai Siput) as housing lots for the residents, Jayakumar asked: “Why now after all these years? Is it an election gimmick?

“Well, tell him to hurry up and complete this housing project, otherwise when Pakatan takes control of the state then we will use the Land Acquisition Act to take this housing area  away from him and provide housing for the lower income group.”


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