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DAP man tells Pakatan to send ‘top guys’ to Cameron Highlands

 | October 24, 2017

M Manogaran says it will be a mistake to underestimate BN’s power in the area.

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PETALING JAYA: DAP’s candidate for Cameron Highlands in the last general election is calling on leaders of Pakatan Harapan to make their presence felt in the constituency.

Speaking to FMT, M Manogaran noted that support for Barisan Nasional in Cameron Highlands appeared to be dwindling, but he said it would be a grave mistake for the opposition to underestimate the effectiveness of the ruling coalition’s election machinery and the power of its money.

“Cameron Highlands is a marginal seat and we shouldn’t leave any stone unturned in marginal seats,” he said. “As such, it will be a great help if top guys from DAP and Pakatan can make an appearance.”

In the 2013 election, Manogaran lost the seat by a mere 462 votes (about 2%) to MIC’s G Palanivel.

Recently, MIC expressed its intention to contest for the seat again in the 14th general election.

Pakatan Harapan analysts as well as many political pundits believe that GE14 would largely be a contest for GE13’s marginal seats.

Pakatan has yet to confirm its candidate for Cameron Highlands, but Manogaran said there were indications that DAP would nominate him again.

“Party leaders have asked me to continue working in Cameron Highlands, which seems to indicate that they want me to contest here again. For as long as I’ve been with the DAP, when they give you that kind of indication, then there’s a huge possibility that it’s going to be the case.”

According to Manogaran, among the challenges the opposition faced in Cameron Highlands were addressing the fear that BN had instilled among farmers and the Orang Asli community and mobilising potential supporters.

“Whenever I hold an event or a ceramah, it’s very difficult to ask people to attend because either they’re too afraid or they’re too busy with their farms and such,” he said.

“Many farmers fear that if they do not support BN, their farms will be raided and their foreign workers will be deported, like what happened during Operasi Gading 2 in 2014.

“It’s basically the same case with many of the Orang Asli, who know that BN is responsible for setting up hospitals and schools in their areas. They’re afraid that if they support the opposition, then all this will stop.”

Cameron Highlands has one of the largest concentrations of Orang Asli voters. They make up about 20% of the electorate in the constituency.

Manogaran also spoke of the challenge coming from a possible multi-corner fight for the seat.

“Our supposed ally, PSM, has expressed its intention to contest,” he said. “Apart from that, there will also be a few independent candidates.”

PSM has said it intended to field Orang Asli candidate Mat Nor for the Jelai state seat in Cameron Highlands.

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