Mad scramble for Hulu Selangor

(The Malaysian Insider) SHAH ALAM, March 26 — Hulu Selangor MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad’s death last night has sparked a scramble among likely candidates to stand in a seat crucial to both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) confidence ahead of the next general election.

It is understood that BN might give the seat — with a significant Indian vote — to Umno, and will provide a different seat to MIC, whose deputy president, Datuk G. Palanivel, stood there in Election 2008.

PR will stick to PKR contesting the seat that Zainal Abidin had won with a wafer-thin majority of 198 in the last elections. But the party is keen to present a strong candidate to keep the seat and stem its loss, following the departure of four federal lawmakers, who are now independents.

The Malays make up 53.9 per cent of the more than 60,000 voters in the constituency. The Chinese vote pool there stands at 26.7 per cent, and Indians, approximately 19 per cent, while other races are at 0.41 per cent.

It is understood that, with the Malay vote is evenly split, PKR is hoping to retain the Indian support that it received in Election 2008.

PKR won the seat two years ago on the back of ethnic Indian uprising, which saw the formation Indian rights group, Hindraf.

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