First Indian-majority seat may see five-way fight
KLANG: The newly established Sentosa (N48) state seat under the Kota Raja parliamentary constituency, the nation’s first Indian-majority seat, could see a five-way battle.
Following the redelineation exercise by the Election Commission (EC) and despite being named as a replacement for the former Kota Alam Shah seat, N48 falls under the former Seri Andalas seat held by PKR vicepresident Dr Xavier Jayakumar for the past two terms.
With a total of 51,502 voters comprising 8,767 (17%) Malays; 19,671 (38%) Chinese; 22,294 (43%) Indians and 770 (1.4%) other races, the 14th general election is expected to see the campaign focused on wooing the majority community in the area.
Talk is rife that Jayakumar is set to contest the seat despite ongoing talks within Pakatan Harapan ranks while Kota Raja MIC division chief Datuk R.S Maniam will most likely be MIC’s choice.
It is learnt that former PKR member Telai Ambalam, who is now with Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), PAS Supporters Club’s N. M. Rajan, known as Cikgu Raj, and former PKR Klang municipal councillor P. S. Rajoo, are set to contest the seat under the PRM, PAS and independent banners respectively.
However, the Sentosa seat could also pit youths from both parties, should either Jayakumar or Maniam be asked to contest for parliamentary seats instead.
One of the touted youth candidates, Selangor MIC Youth chief and Taman Sentosa resident D. Kajendran, 36, said Sentosa has been plagued by various issues following the Opposition’s takeover of the state in 2008.
“The past 10 years have seen poor rubbish management by the local council. This is due to nonscheduled collection of rubbish by the state-government owned Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd’s (KDEB) contractors.
“Before 2008, collection was at least thrice a week but now it could be either once a week or twice in three weeks. The uncleanliness has contributed to more dengue cases,” he said recently
The lapses of the PKR-ruled state government, he said included failure to prevent flooding in the area.
Jayakumar’s daughter and PKR vice-Youth chief Sangetha Jayakumar, 35, another name which had cropped up, said PKR has always been doing its work in the area though various state government programmes.
“The flood mitigation works in Sentosa is still ongoing at a cost of RM40 million. We have remedied the bulk of the problem.”