Poser over Surendran fuels more talk of PKR split

PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president N Surendran will most likely not be nominated to defend Padang Serai, where he won in 2013, fuelling further speculation about disagreements between two camps in the party.

Over the weekend, there was speculation that Tian Chua might not be fielded again in Batu, with talk of him being offered a seat in Johor. There is also talk that other major transfers of senior leaders may be in store.

It is not known if Surendran, a human rights lawyer, will be offered a seat elsewhere as Pakatan Harapan (PH) has yet to complete its candidate list for Kedah.

A source said Surendran, who is seen to be aligned with PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, was notified by his party about the decision but would not comment further.

Surendran is among senior party leaders whose candidacy appears to be caught in a tussle between a camp led by Azmin and another by Rafizi Ramli, aligned with PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Rafizi was elected to Pandan in 2013 but a continuing court case has left his nomination in doubt.

It was earlier reported that another PKR vice-president, Tian Chua, was out of the running in Batu, with speculation that he would be offered a seat in Johor. However, a party source later told FMT that Tian Chua, also seen as part of Azmin’s camp, would most likely be named as the Batu candidate again.

Padang Serai is a parliamentary seat in Kedah, while Batu is in the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur.

Surendran, who grew up in Kedah, won Padang Serai by an 8,400 majority, polling 34,151 votes against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Heng Seai Kie and three other independent candidates. He is known for championing human rights issues, including taking on cases of police abuse and custodial deaths.

Tian Chua, another human rights activist, was returned to Batu for a second term in 2013 with an increased majority of 13,200 against BN’s Dominic Lau and three other candidates.

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