BN’s Hulu S’gor Candidacy: MIC Wants Palanivel, UMNO Prefers Mugilan

Malaysian Digest
KUALA LUMPUR, 14 APRIL 2010: While Barisan Nasional (BN) is expected to announce tomorrow of its candidate for the upcoming Hulu Selangor by-election, cracks seems to appear on the choices favoured by the two main component parties, UMNO and MIC. Political observers say UMNO and MIC differ on their choices. MIC favours in fielding Deputy President, Datuk G. Palanivel while Hulu Selangor Umno division appears in favour of the constituency’s MIC Youth deputy chief V Mugilan.
Pakatan Rakyat yesterday announced that it will field former minister and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s supreme council member Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim for the parliamentary seat.
According to reports, several MIC leaders had already tried to coax the Umno division to back off from its stand and lobbying was expected to be intensified on the eve of the announcement.
Consensus among Hulu Selangor BN circle appears to show Mugilan, who was born in Ladang Kerling, to be well liked by local people, including the Malays. An Hulu Selangor division MIC insider had also described the 35-year old as “friendly and helpful to everyone at the grassroots level” and that “He is very close to the Malay youths here as well.”
Messages posted on the Hulu Selangor by-election BN supporters Facebook page said “Mugilan will be the proxy for UMNO” and “The Hulu Selangor UMNO has agreed to pick Mugilan, the local MIC boy, as the candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election.”
Mugilan, however, had been reluctant to comment on his constituency’s proposal to contest him and merely said that “What will happen will happen” and , on the possibility of being nominated as the BN candidate, he said: “What has to happen will happen” and “I am not asking to be nominated. It is not something I am focused on. No matter who the candidate is, BN must win. We in Hulu Selangor are ready to battle and win.”.
He also dismissed speculation that there was friction between Palanivel and him over the candidacy. “Palanivel is my mentor and I will be very happy if he is nominated,” he said in a report by Free Malaysia Today.
Meanwhile, MIC president S Samy Vellu,was reported to say that MIC’s reluctance in fielding Mugilan was its fear that he would be an Umno’s pawn.
The seasoned politician, who has been firm about the party and his decision to field Palanavel, had also been said to be upset about Umno’s “interference” in MIC’s candidate selection for the by-election.
In the same report, an MIC insider was quoted of saying: “He (Samy Vellu) refuses to consider Mugilan. He feels that since Umno likes him it would be easy for them to manipulate Mugilan,”
The report also named MIC information chief P Kamalanathan as Samy’s second choice is, though the latter is not local-born.
For now, Palanivel, who also leads the state and Hulu Selangor MIC, is still considered as popular among the Indian locals who form 19.3 percent of the 64,500 voters there. The Umno division, however, 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.
Polling day for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat by-election has been is set for April 25 whereas nomination of candidates is tomorrow.