PETALING JAYA: Kapar incumbent G Manivannan has ridiculed what he refers to as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) lame attempt to wrest the Kapar parliamentary seat through the redrawing of electoral boundaries.
Speaking to FMT, Manivannan said although Kapar had changed from being a fairly mixed seat to one with a huge Malay majority, this would not make a difference.
“The current state of the country is what will determine how the public votes, not race politics,” he said.
Following the redelineation exercise, Kapar went from having approximately 50% Malay voters, 35% Chinese and 15% Indians to having approximately 70% Malays, 15% Chinese and 15% Indians.
Manivannan said the issues affecting the country today were felt by people regardless of race.
“We all feel the same pinch. The Malay voters are feeling the burden of the goods and services tax (GST), the rising cost of living, and unemployment. It is not isolated to the Chinese and Indians.
“It’s all down to bread and butter issues, which supersede race.”
He expressed confidence that Kapar constituents would continue to support Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“I’ve handled issues which are very near to the hearts of the people and I’ve been doing that consistently for the past five years. I think the Malays appreciate me in Kapar and so do the Chinese and Indians.
“Whether BN fields a Malay candidate or an Indian candidate, it’s immaterial. I’m ready for the fight.”
BN has traditionally fielded MIC candidates for the Kapar seat since 1986.
PKR first won the seat in 2008 when its candidate S Manikavasagam beat BN’s Komala Devi M Perumal by a 12,000 majority.
In 2013, PKR replaced Manikavasagam with Manivannan, and he managed to retain the seat with a higher majority of 23,000.
On April 7, Manikavasagam announced that he had rejoined Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), which he first joined in 1999 before leaving for PKR in 2000. He also said he would contest the Kapar seat.
Click here to get live updates throughout the GE14 season