Saturday, April 10, 2010

MIC No 2 Palanivel pleads for another chance in Hulu Selangor

Datuk G. Palanivel last night pleaded for another chance to serve the Hulu Selangor voters, despite talk that his candidacy looks to be increasingly in jeopardy ahead of the April 17 nomination.

“Give a second chance, try again,” the former four-term Hulu Selangor MP said during his fourth stop at the semi-rural constituency in northern Selangor.

“If not satisfied, dump in the next election in 2012,” the MIC deputy president continued when opening a women's programme in Bukit Beruntung last night.

Palanivel went on to call for support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's government, even as he was pleading his own case to the voters.

“For a strong government, a strong Parliament, the Chinese votes are vital... we need the support of the Chinese community.

“The Chinese must support MIC, MIC will support candidates from MCA and Gerakan. I ask that, this time, the Chinese voters will back the MIC candidate," he said.

Both Barisan Nasional (BN), which has said it will put up an MIC candidate, and ruling state coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have yet to announce their candidates for the April 25 by-election.
A banner with Ugadi greetings from Palanivel is seen in Hulu Selangor. — Picture by Jack Ooi

“I lost in 2008 by a difference of 0.04 per cent, not even half a per cent. So I hope I can count on your support,” Palanivel continued.

In Election 2008, Palanivel fell to PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad by the slimmest of margins — 198 votes.

Prior to his Bukit Beruntung stop-over, Palanivel had spoken to roughly 50 Chinese voters at the Kuen Yin Kerk Temple in Kampung Assam Kumbang, Kuala Kubu Baru. There, he asked for Najib to be given a chance by the Chinese community.

The prime minister has just completed his first year in office, and had marked the event in Hulu Selangor.
“One chance, give him one chance,” said Palanivel.

The MIC man, who held Hulu Selangor from 1990 till his defeat in 2008, was not “campaigning” as the official candidate, and was instead donning the hat of Hulu Selangor parliamentary co-ordinator.

He had been appointed to the post in October last year.

With that capacity, said Palanivel, he could address the problems and needs of the locals, including securing financial allocations.

To prove his case, he then handed over partially the allocations residents had requested in January.

The meet-the-people sessions yesterday were kicked off with the handing over of three cheques, valued at RM300,000, to two Chinese associations in Kuala Kubu Baru.

This was followed by a meet-and-greet event with the Orang Asli community at Changkat Bintang, close to Slim River, and the Kampung Serigala Orang Asli settlement. The session in Bukit Beruntung was held after that.

Both Orang Asli settlements, which contribute roughly 120 votes, were considered Barisan Nasional strongholds two years ago.

However, BN also completely failed to capture the Chinese votes in Kuala Kubu Baru then.

At 10pm, Palanivel continued on to Hulu Rening, near Genting Highlands, to meet with the Malay voters there, in a day that saw him cover nearly 200km to curry favour.

There has been no official word of his candidacy, although his has been the sole name touted to the BN Supreme Council.

The leadership from both MIC and BN have declined to confirm if other names have been presented to Najib, who is also the BN chaiman.
Palanivel (left) hands over cheques worth RM300,000 to representatives of two Chinese associations.

The Malaysian Insider trailed Palanivel throughout his entire run yesterday, and watched him display commitment to the cause even as rumours swirl that he may not, ultimately, contest.

His assistants were seen hard at work with the preparations, updating his profile to show his achievements since first becoming a lawmaker some two decades ago.

Several of his aides also claimed Palanivel was merely fulfilling his duties as the constituency’s co-ordinator, and paid no heed to talks that efforts were underway to block his potential candidacy.

Hulu Selangor Umno also continued to press for their man to contest the seat, in blatant disregard of Najib’s statement that seat remains under MIC’s banner.

The groundwork is being done as Palanivel does not want to be caught ill-prepared in the event he is nominated.

Aside from the MIC No. 2, the party’s information chief, P. Kalamanathan, and deputy youth leader, V. Mugilan, have also been mentioned as being under consideration.

Both were also in Hulu Selangor yesterday to meet with voters.

During his speech in Kampung Serigala, Palanivel said: “This seat is extremely important to BN”.

The multipurpose hall where he delivered his speech was adorned with miniature BN flags and a portrait of Palanivel, with the words “Candidate for the Hulu Selangor Parliamentary constituency” displayed.

The Malaysian Insider understands the portrait has been there since Election 2008. Beside that was also another of former mentri besar, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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