Giant-killer Jeyakumar is new PSM chairman

Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj was MP for Sungai Siput for two terms.

PETALING JAYA: “Giant-killer” Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj was elected as the new chairman of Parti Socialis Malaysia today and pledged that PSM will go full steam ahead on climate change, affordable housing and better public transport.

Jeyakumar was elected to succeed PSM’s founding chairman Syed Nasir Hashim, who retired after completing the maximum number of terms in office.

Outspoken PSM stalwart S Arutchelvan, a former secretary-general, succeeded M Sarasvathy as deputy chairman, who also completed the maximum number of terms.

Jeyakumar, 64, a medical doctor, said the party would also focus on ensuring measures are taken to reduce carbon footprint and increased use of solar power. “These issues are not taken seriously. “We want to make sure measures are taken on this,” he told FMT.

He said the party will also fight for affordable housing in their quest to ensure everyone can own a home.

Jeyakumar earned his “giant-killer” appellation by ousting MIC president S Samy Vellu from the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency in the 2008 general election and was re-elected for a second term in 2013.

He said PSM was willing to work with any political party as long as their vision and mission is the same as theirs.

PSM secretary-general A Sivarajan said that the slate of officials marked a rejuvenation of the party leadership with new faces. There are eight women among the 15 holding office, and new officials included activists Chong Yee Shan, Y Kohila, Sharan Raj and Teh Yee Cheu, the former assemblyman for Tanjung Bungah, Penang.