Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mugilan top BN choice for Hulu Selangor vote, polls say

MIC Youth deputy leader V. Mugilan is the top choice as Barisan Nasional candidate for Hulu Selangor over his political mentor Datuk G. Palanivel, according to recent straw polls by the ruling federal coalition and other agencies.

Surveys by BN and government agencies reveal the Hulu Selangor MIC Youth chief is popular among the Umno members and supporters, who voted in all three BN candidates for the state seats in Election 2008 but were 198 votes short to elect the four-term MP Palanivel then.

Ironically Mugilan was Palanivel’s campaign manager then. Another name being tossed is MIC information chief and Putera MIC coordinator P. Kamalanathan, but MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has not confirmed if he had submitted any name apart from Palanivel.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Palanivel, the MIC deputy president who also leads both the state and Hulu Selangor MIC, is still popular among the Indians who form 19.3 per cent of the 64,500 voters there.

“Mugilan will be the proxy for Umno,” according to a message posted on the Hulu Selangor by-election BN supporters Facebook social networking site account.

“The Hulu Selangor Umno has agreed to pick Mugilan, the local MIC boy, as the candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election,” said another message on the Facebook account.

The Umno division has been agitating for the party to contest the seat after Palanivel’s failure to retain the seat in 2008 when he lost to PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad. The PKR MP passed away of brain cancer last month.

Internet group Kelab Maya Umno posted a message in its website, saying “Mugilan’s name is up now after confirmation with Umno, so Mugilan is the candidate chosen by Hulu Selangor Umno, which has 25,000 members there.”

The website also said Umno’s efforts to get its “chosen” candidate has worked although BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak has confirmed an MIC man will contest the seat.

“Mugilan will follow whatever the Umno division dictates.

“Although a Malay is not the BN Candidate, the Umno division itself approved the choice and this means Mugilan will ensure that Malay voice is heard in Parliament... Insyallah if we win,” the website added.

The BN will announce its candidate on April 15, two days before nomination day, for the April 25 by-election.

The 35-year-old Mugilan is said to be the popular choice as he was born in the Kerling Estate within Hulu Selangor and has served as the local MIC Youth chief for the past decade under Palanivel.

He is now a businessman after serving a short spell as a civil servant.

His name as the Hulu Selangor candidate also cropped up in a meeting involving 120 leaders of Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) last night in Kuala Lumpur. Most agreed MIC should put in a young figure instead of party veteran Palanivel.

However, Mugilan is not without controversy as he is suing the Tamil Bell Youth Club which had dropped him as a vice-president last year.

“We sacked him last December and he is suing us. The case will come up this Wednesday,” club chairman told The Malaysian Insider. He did not disclose the reasons for the sacking.

It is understood that Samy Vellu is still sticking to Palanivel as he has served Hulu Selangor for 18 years from 1990 to 2008. The MIC president’s family-owned Tamil Nesan newspaper has been actively campaigning to ensure he is the sole BN choice.

Party sources indicate that Samy Vellu could settle for Kamalanathan if BN decides to opt for a younger face but Mugilan’s popularity among the Malays will be a factor for the by-election which is crucial to BN’s revival after its unprecedented losses in Election 2008.

“MIC can propose but the prime minister decides,” a BN MP told The Malaysian Insider, referring to Najib’s statement that he will ultimately pick the coalition candidate.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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