JOHOR BAHRU: An Indian PAS candidate has denied that she was contesting just to split Pakatan Harapan (PH) votes in the Johor Jaya state seat and give an advantage to the Barisan Nasional.
Kumutha Rahman, 39, said PAS has given her the mandate to contest and she was carrying out the central leadership’s orders.
“The thought never crossed my mind that I am splitting opposition votes.
“I just hope to provide the voters in Johor Jaya another choice of candidate from the opposition to represent them in the state assembly and take care of their needs.
“Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. I have contested and lost twice before.
“I will once again be trying my best for this election,” she told FMT after visiting villagers in Kampung Melayu Pandan in Tebrau here.
In the last two general elections, Kumutha had contested the Tiram state seat. She obtained 8,827 votes in 2008 and 16,273 votes in 2013, losing to BN’s Maulizan Bujang in straight fights on both occasions.
Johor Jaya was won by DAP’s Liow Cai Tung with a slim majority of 1,460 votes in 2013. There are 61,079 voters in the mixed-race constituency.
Kumutha will be facing Liow and Barisan Nasional’s Tan Cher Puk (from MCA) in a three-cornered fight in this 14th general election (GE14).
Political analysts had earlier said such three-cornered fights will only benefit BN.
PAS is contesting in 19 parliamentary and 40 state seats in Johor in the polls.
Kumutha, who has a UK law degree, joined PAS in 2007 and is currently the women’s wing chief for the PAS Supporters’ Club and Johor Jaya PAS coordinator.
Not a parachute candidate
Kumutha, who is working in the corporate sector, also denied being a “parachute candidate”.
“In fact, I studied in Johor Jaya and I am still staying here. In one of my walkabouts, I met my former primary school teacher and I felt touched when he wished me luck,” she said.
She said the local Chinese and Indian communities were also receptive towards her.
“When I visited them in their neighbourhoods, they told me the local issues they are facing and my team has tried its best to help them,” Kumutha said.
She said she is learning basic Mandarin to communicate better with senior citizens.
No intention to convert to Islam
When asked if she had any intention to convert to Islam, Kumutha said the thought had never crossed her mind, neither was there any suggestion for her to do so.
“The party has never asked me to convert and they respect my religion.
“In fact, being with PAS has made me understand more about Islam and Muslims,” she said, adding she joined PAS to show the public that the party also accepts non-Muslims.
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