PETALING JAYA: DAP and PKR divisions in Segamat have closed ranks to put up a united front in their quest to wrest the parliamentary seat from MIC through Johor PKR chief Chua Jui Meng. Similarly PAS announced that it will campaign for Chua.
Questions whether Chua was sidelined arose when Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim announced Lim Kit Siang as the candidate for Gelang Patah. Gelang Patah was previously contested by PKR.
Chua was confirmed as the candidate for Segamat on Tuesday.
“It is such a relief to see so many of you here. I did not expect such a strong turnout.
“This is going to be a tough fight for me but, ‘lawan tetap lawan’ (definitely must fight), and half the battle is won with such a united force.
“We have closed ranks in Pakatan for the sake of the rakyat. Many Chinese have told me not to worry about their support for Pakatan. Instead, they advised me to go to our Malay and Indian brothers and sisters to win their hearts and minds for a change in federal government after 55 years,” said Chua during a lunch session at a restaurant in Segamat yesterday.
Segamat is traditionally contested by DAP. In the 11th and the 12th general elections, Pang Hok Liong contested against incumbent Dr S Subramaniam from MIC but lost on both occasions.
Subramaniam is MIC deputy president and human resources minister in the current caretaker government.
In the 2004 general election, Subramaniam polled 17,953 votes against Pang’s 10,144 votes. Pang was defeated by 7,809 votes.
In the 12th general election, once again Pang faced off with Subramaniam. Pang managed to reduce Subramaniam’s majority to 2,991 votes.
Subramaniam polled 15,921 votes to Pang’s 12,930 votes due to the general public sentiments against the government in 2008.
Chua received a moral boost when Pang joined him at another function yesterday. Both Pang and Chua also held a joint press conference where the former declared his support for Chua’s candidacy.
Pang dismissed talks that he would not be supporting Pakatan candidates and that lobbying for seats among politicians was common
“Our common enemy is BN, not among Pakatan comrades. Before the candidacy decisions were made, of course it is natural for politicians to lobby and fight for seats. Now that the decision has been made, we must close ranks and fight our common political enemy.
“This is my sixth general election campaign and I am not stupid. BN must fall. I guarantee that I will not split the votes in Segamat by contesting as an Independent.
“The Segamat DAP election machinery will go all out to help Chua and Pakatan win Segamat,” he said and added that he is slated to contest in the Jementah state seat but it has not been finalised by DAP.
Jementah is a state constituency in Segamat. Pang had previously contested in the same seat in 2004 and 2008 but lost to Dr Lee Hong Tee of MCA.