Hush, it’s Rantau candidate Malar on a silent protest

Malar Rajaram, clothes peg on her lips, on a walkabout at Rantau night market.

SEREMBAN: Independent candidate Malar Rajaram fulfilled her promise of a silent protest for the first two days of campaigning for the Rantau by-election.

Malar appeared at a walkabout at the Rantau night market with her mouth sealed by a clothes peg clipped to her lips.

“It is a silent protest because the Pakatan Harapan candidate in Semenyih and Barisan Nasional candidate at Cameron Highlands were not allowed to speak while campaigning.

“But a candidate should be allowed to speak so that voters will understand them. I will explain my manifesto after the protest ends tomorrow night,” she told reporters.

Malar said she would use a tape or cloth peg on her mouth. “I can’t always use the clothes peg, my lips will hurt, so I’ll use tape,” said the housewife.

Malar, a former radio host in Toronto, Canada, called for support from the public for the 13-day campaign period. She said she needs RM10,000 in campaign funds.

She said she was motivated to stand as a candidate because a politician at the Semenyih by-election had said that non-Malay politicians were “penumpang”.

“I am not a ‘penumpang’. I was born here. My father was born here and my ancestors died here,” Malar said.

“That allegation made me angry,” she said.

Malar’s remarks appeared to be a reference to acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan, who is also contesting the Rantau state seat. Mohamad made the statement during a ceramah while campaigning at the Semenyih by-election.

Mohamad, a former menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan, was declared elected unopposed in 2018 when the returning officer disqualified Pakatan Harapan nominee Dr S Streram.

He challenged the disqualification and the Federal Court overturned the election result and vacated the seat last month, causing the by-election.

Mohamad, Malar, Streram and another independent, Mohd Nor Yassin, are contesting the seat. Polling is on April 13.