PKR considers five names for Hulu Selangor race

By G. Manimaran and Adib Zalkapli (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — PKR is considering five names for its candidate in the up-coming Hulu Selangor by-election following the death of its MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad last week.
The Election Commission (EC) will decide this Friday on the nomination and election dates for the semi-rural parliamentary constituency.
Speculation has revolved around PKR Youth Chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, MTUC President Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud who is also Kelana Jaya PKR chief, his counterpart from Sabak Bernam Badrul Amin, lawyer and activist N. Surendran and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
“We have received three to five names. The leadership will consider them,” PKR election director Fuziah Salleh told The Malaysian Insider.
She expressed confidence that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will retain the seat in the by-election, adding a decision will be made after the PKR supreme council meeting this Sunday.
The other members in PR are PAS and DAP.
“The supreme council meeting will be held on April 4 but there is a possibility we won’t decide by then. The final decision will be made after that meeting,” she disclosed.
Fuziah said PKR can retain the seat as Selangor is under PR rule and the people can assess the benefits they have received since the coalition captured the state in Election 2008.
She said that they clearly have a desire to elect an opposition lawmaker to Parliament despite having voted the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the three state seats of the constituency.
Selangor PKR chief and Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim yesterday he did not discount the possibility of someone from Hulu Selangor itself representing the party. He said it was one of the strategies to keep the seat in PKR’s hands.
Selangor PKR election chief Abdullah Sani said they have begun preparations for the by-election despite the lack of dates.
“The election machinery has already started with the cooperation of PAS and DAP… our early strategies have been arranged,” he added, saying they will leave the choice of candidate to the national leadership.
”A lot of names have been offered. We have also proposed one name, so has the state and the division… we leave it to the leadership to decide,” Abdullah said.
In Election 2008, Zainal defeated BN candidate Datuk G. Palanivel with a wafer-thin majority of 198 votes. The former Selangor deputy MB won 23,177 votes while Palanivel, who is MIC deputy president, took 22,979 votes.