PETALING JAYA: The MIC will nominate its deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel (pic) to contest the Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election.
Its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Palanivel’s name would be submitted to Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak soon.
“Palanivel is the best choice for candidate; he is the coordinator for the constituency and has been working continuously since the March 2008 general election.
“He knows the people in Hulu Selangor and has a close relationship with Umno, the MCA, Gerakan, PPP and other political parties,” Samy Vellu said when contacted yesterday.
He said the Hulu Selangor MIC division would meet today to discuss preparations for the by-election.
Palanivel, a former journalist, had been Hulu Selangor MP since 1990 before losing the seat to PKR’s Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad in the March 2008 general election. The seat fell vacant after the death of Dr Zainal Abidin on Thursday.
Palanivel said he would work hard to wrest the seat back for Barisan, adding: “I’m ready to contest. I have been working and serving the people non-stop and am confident that they will make the right decision.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Barisan Nasional had “plenty of ammo” to face Pakatan Rakyat in the by-election.
“During campaigning, all kinds of things will happen but we have plenty of material in our arsenal which we can use in the by-election,” he told reporters after visiting a National Key Result Area laboratory for quality teaching at the Education Ministry in Putrajaya.
“We will put the best person to contest the seat. At the moment, the candidate who will represent the Barisan will most likely be from MIC,” he said.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein expressed confidence that Barisan would wrest back the seat, saying that people in Selangor was starting to favour Barisan again.
The Home Minister said this after chairing a post Cabinet meeting at his office in Putrajaya yesterday.
Over at Pakatan, speculation is rife that former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim might be selected as PKR’s candidate as he is popular among the non-Malays.
Another potential candidate is MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud , who is also Kelana Jaya PKR chief.
However, Kapar MP S. Manickavasagam said he had informed PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that it would be best to field an Indian candidate to face Barisan Nasional, which would likely field Palanivel.
“The Indian elected representatives in PKR have set a good track record as we secured 100% victory against MIC candidates in the last general election.”
MIC deputy president to contest in Hulu Selangor