Kapar MP says he will ‘live or die’ with PKR

By Neville Spykerman, The Malaysian Insider

Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam has snubbed the invitation by two Umno leaders for him to join Barisan Nasional.

Manikavasagam told The Malaysian Insider he would “live or die” with PKR despite his differences with Selangor's Pakatan Rakyat leadership and he had no intention of jumping ship.

"No thanks," was his response to the invitation from Selangor Umno liaison committee chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib and state opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Mond Khir Toyo.

Manikavasagam said crossing over would betray the Hindraf 5, who have been detained under the Internal Security Act, and voters in Kapar who voted overwhelmingly for PKR on March 8.

The embattled first-term MP, who has come under fire from within his own party for his persistent criticisms against the state PR leadership, admitted problems existed.

Burdened with an overwhelming obligation to the people who voted for change, especially the Indian community, Manikavasagam said he is frustrated this change has been slow in coming.

"I have been vilified in the press, by my own party members, for trying to be a hero to the Indians but are they (critics) going to help the community if I shut up."

Manikavasagam, who has been at the forefront in handling social issues affecting the Indian community for over almost a decade, said he has no intention of changing his confrontational style just because he is now a PKR MP.

In September, he took to task the Selangor Menteri Besar for not going to the ground to visit victims of a freak storm in Klang and more recently he was embroiled in a public argument with Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim over the relocation of the bus terminal in Klang.

However, Manikavasagam is aware the open battles in the press are only benefiting BN and is adopting a unilateral ceasefire — for now.