Even Contest for A River and Two Hills

A TAMIL-TYPE movie is being staged in the Bukit Selambau State Assembly by-election.

Bukit Selambau is a Malay-majority seat but has become an Indian “stronghold” since it was taken away from Umno and handed over to the MIC in 1988.

But it promises to be better than an average Chennai-made Tamil movie because the cast are truly Malaysian – eight Indians, five Malays and a Chinese – making a total of 15.

They are Barisan Nasional’s S Ganesan and Parti Keadilan Rakyat's S Manikumar, who are the real contenders.

But don’t count out the independents — Anuar Abdul Rahim, Radzi Md Lazim, Khamis Awang, A Jayagopal, Tan Hock Huat, T Chandrarajan, S Moganakumar, Husaini Yaacob, Abdul Rahim Abu, L Sarala, M Venason, R Loganathan and Mohd Fazil Abdul Wahab.

In the 2008 general election, V Arumugam stood as independent and won. He later joined the PKR and was made an Exco in the Pas-led state government

That explains why the by-election attracts so many independents. But there’s a more fundamental reason to that. Not all BN component parties are happy with the selection of an MIC candidate.

Out of 35,140 registered voters, 50.2 per cent are Malays, 29.5 Indians, 19.3 per cent Chinese and one per cent other ethnic groups, mainly the Thais.

The seat fell vacant when, on 9 Feb Arumugam, resigned following controversies surrounding his marriage to a woman who was allegedly still married to another man.