PETALING JAYA: PKR’s MP G Manivannan is expecting a multi-cornered fight to take place again in the Kapar federal constituency in the 14th general election.
However, he said having BN, PAS and other independent candidates in the fray would not reduce Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) chances of winning the seat.
“However, I am of the view that it will ultimately come down to a choice between BN and PH. This is because the people will concentrate on the two main coalitions.
“For the last 13 elections, opposition coalitions were giving BN a fight and in my view, this will still be the scenario,” he told FMT.
Manivannan was responding to a question on whether a multi-cornered fight would benefit BN in the elections.
Previously, the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research had warned opposition parties against fielding two candidates to go against BN in a constituency.
The think tank said it was important for the parties to learn from past “failures” when there were three-cornered fights.
It cited the Semenyih state seat as an example where both PKR and PSM had fielded their candidates against Umno. The seat was eventually won by Umno.
However, DAP chief strategist Liew Chin Tong said three-cornered fights between PH, BN and PAS in the coming 14th general election (GE14) might have an adverse effect on BN, with PAS suffering a worse performance.
He said the notion that three-cornered fights would benefit Umno and BN was a cliché.
Manivannan also said the opposition might lose some votes in a multi-cornered fight but he says they would not have much impact on the opposition.
“I respect the candidates’ rights to stand in elections. In fact, I consider this a good practice in a democratic country,” he said.
During the 2013 general election, Manivannan obtained 69,849 votes, for a 23,790-vote majority, in a six-cornered fight.
MIC’s Sakthivel Alagappan received 46,059 votes while Mohd Pathan Hussin, a candidate from PAS’ splinter party, Berjasa, received 6,289 votes.
Independent candidates Norhamzah Suratman, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz and Palaya Rengaiah polled 1,067 votes, 835 votes and 231 votes respectively.
In the 2008 general election, former PKR member S Manikavasagam won the Kapar seat for the opposition, defeating MIC’s P Komala Devi with a majority of 12,297 votes.
The Kapar parliamentary seat is the largest constituency in the country with 146,317 voters.
Manivannan previously said that there was no political will from the federal government to address unequal distribution of voters in Kapar.
Four state seats under the Kapar parliamentary constituency are Meru, Sementa, Selat Kelang and Sungai Pinang.
Meru and Selat Kelang are held by PAS while Sungai Pinang and Sementa are DAP and PKR seats.
Manivannan said although there were two seats held by PAS in the constituency, it would not affect PH’s performance in Malaysia’s largest federal seat.
“There are the fence sitters and non-PAS supporters in Meru and Selat Kelang, who I believe will support Pakatan.
“Besides that, I do see some PAS and even BN supporters warming towards us when I visit them,” he said, adding that he was willing to contest again for PKR.
Meanwhile, Meru assemblyman Abd Rani Osman told FMT that if the top leadership wanted him to contest in Kapar, he would gladly do so.
“I am not sure if my name was mentioned by the Syura Council to contest in the federal seat.
“Personally, I would rather spend time with my grandchildren and take a break from politics,” he said.