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Bagan Pinang: 2,800 Indians hold the key

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 16 @ 22:13:43 CDT

National: Politics
NST, 2009/09/17 By Patrick PORT DICKSON: The outcome of the Bagan Pinang state by-election could be determined by the 2,800 Indian voters in the constituency. While MIC remains confident that it can garner the support of Indian voters, sentiments of the community may be influenced by the position taken by the Human Rights Party and banned Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

It is learnt that leaders and supporters of HRP and Hindraf will meet this weekend to decide on their official stand for the by-election on Oct 11.

Earlier, there were rumours that the newly-formed HRP may field a candidate to contest as an independent.
However, according to sources from HRP and Hindraf, neither of the movements would do this.

A source said: "We will support neither BN (Barisan Nasioal) nor PR (Pakatan Rakyat). We cannot support BN, while at the same time we cannot rally behind the PR coalition either.

"We cannot support PR for two reasons: the Kampung Lorong Buah Pala controversy where Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng let the Indians down, and also the Selangor government's poor handling of the Shah Alam Hindu temple relocation."

There are 14,192 voters in the constituency, with Malays making up 64 per cent, Chinese 10.8 per cent, Indians 20.4 per cent and other races, 4.9 per cent. There are 5,171 postal votes.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Umno's Azman Mohammad Noor, 55, on Sept 4.

Bagan Pinang is one of five state constituencies under the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the party's survey found that up to 2,000 of Indian voters were staying in nearby areas, with about 40 per cent living and working in Seremban, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru.

"Our task will be to bring in the 2,000 Indian voters on polling day," he said, adding that MIC would mobilise its election machinery.

Samy Vellu, accompanied by newly-elected MIC vice-president and Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, state MIC chief Datuk T. Rajagopalu and state executive councillor V.S. Mogan visited four Indian-majority areas in Ladang Seliau, Ladang Artherthen, Ladang Sua Betong and Ladang Bradwall on Tuesday.
He said MIC would form three teams, each headed by Dr Subramaniam and two other newly-elected MIC vice-presidents, Datuk S.K. Devamany who is also deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, and Datuk M. Saravanan, the federal territories deputy minister.



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