Saturday, March 27, 2010

Manoharan urges PKR to field Uthaya

Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan today proposed that Human Rights Party leader P Uthayakumar be picked as the PKR candidate in the Hulu Selangor by-election.

He argued that Indian support for Pakatan Rakyat is fast eroding and thus the best candidate for the parliamentary seat would be Uthayakumar as he can attract the sizable Indian votes in the mixed constituency.

"It is a good opportunity for Pakatan Rakyat to bring him on our side as he would be an asset to our coalition," said Manoharan, who won his state seat for DAP at the 2008 general elections while he was detained under the Internal Security Act.

The lawyer-cum-politician was held for about 18 months alongside Uthayakumar and three other Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Front) activists.

In justifying his choice, Manoharan said that PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim should explore long-term measures to secure Indian votes in the next general elections.

hindraf btn 151209 manoharan uthayakumarAccording to Manoharan (left in photo), Pakatan has nothing to lose by fielding Uthayakumar (right in photo) as a candidate.

Uthayakumar and his yet-to-be-registered HRP have been firing potshots at PKR and Pakatan for their failures in addressing issues affecting the Indian community.

Manoharan conceded that Uthayakumar has trained his guns at PKR over the past year, but he was optimistic that his fellow Hindraf activist can work together with Pakatan.

"Make him an ally not a foe as he knows how to resolve the Indian community's problem," said Manoharan.

Uthayakumar to consider

Uthayakumar has unveiled plans to contest 15 parliamentary and 42 state seats, all of which boast substantial Indian voters. This includes seats held by Pakatan's Indian politicians.

azlanMeanwhile, Uthayakumar was coy when asked to comment on Manoharan's suggestion.

"If I am given the leeway to bring about changes in regards to the critical Indian community problems, I will consider," he told Malaysiakini.

The Hulu Selangor seat fell vacant following the death of its incumbent representative, Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad, two days ago. The Election Commission will announce the date of the by-election next Friday.

Indian Malaysians comprise about 19 percent of the 63,593 voters in the semi-urban constituency, which is located north of Selangor.