(The Malaysian Times) - Sungai Siput MP Dr Micheal Jayakumar says that he would contest for the Sungai Siput seat in the coming 13th General Election (GE). “I will be contesting again for the seat in Sungai Siput under the PSM banner,” said Jayakumar to The Malaysian Times (TMT) today.
The Sungai Siput constituency in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, had been under the helm of Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu since 1974. It however, fell to Jayakumar of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) in the 2008 election. This was Jayakumar’s third attempt in regaining the seat from BN, with the first being in 1999 and the second in 2004.
The largest percentage of voters in the constituent is the Chinese community with 41 percent followed by the Malay community with 31 percent, Indian with 21 percent and seven percent Orang Asli voters.
With a total number of voters being 47,424, Jayakumar had managed to garner 16,458 votes while Samy Vellu received 14,637 votes. He (Jayakumar) won the election with a majority of 1,821 votes.
In speaking about the election in 2008, it was believed that Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had lost the seat in Sungai Siput due to the lack of Malays voters.
In confirming this, Jayakumar had said that Samy Vellu had not only loose the support of the Malays voters, but also the Chinese and Indian voters alike. This was due to the Hindraf issue which was aflame at that time.
Looking into who would be the possible candidate to go against Jayakumar, iIt is rumoured that MIC Secretary-General, Datuk S Murugesan may be contesting in Sungai Siput under the Barisan Nasional (BN) banner.
The voters in Sungai Siput may see a fight between two capable Indian leaders should Murugesan and Jayakumar indeed contest in Sungai Siput. This may also turn Sungai Siput into a ‘hot seat’ during the coming election.
It is said that the odds of him (Murugesan) winning the seat against Jayakumar was 50-50. This was based on the current support that the PSM leader had gained during his term at the constituency.
When asked on how PSM was faring in Sungai Siput, Jayakumar said that the party is doing fairly well and is well supported by the people there. However despite his dedication in wanting to serve the constituents, Jayakumar lacked the funds to address the woes.
“The only downfall is that PSM is not able to provide monetary goodies for the people as BN can. We have instead helped the people in getting housing loans and looking into the people’s Social Security Organization (SOCSO) woes. We are also providing counseling for those who are facing family problems,” said Jayakumar.
Asked on whether PSM will be able to retain its seat there, Jayakumar said, “We have a fighting chance. We have and are serving the people. They recognize our services.”
Jayakumar on June 25, 2011, was among the 24 people who were picked up in Penang during the widespread pre-Bersih clampdown.
They were later slapped with accusations that they had attempted to revive communism and wage a war against the King. He and five others – PSM deputy chairman M. Sarasvathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M. Sugumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A. Letchumanan and Youth chief R. Saratbabu were however released on July 29, 2011.