Dentist eyes Kapar seat in 13th GE

MCLM-backed candidate Dr Nedunchelian Vengu to take on PKR’s S Manickavasagam

(Free Malaysia Today) – The first Barisan Rakyat Independent Candidate (BRIC), Dr Nedunchelian Vengu, today announced that he will stand in Kapar in the 13th general election.

The dentist was introduced by the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) as the fourth independent candidate in January this year.

His choice to run in Kapar stems from two decades of social work and a thriving dental practice in the constituency. The Kapar seat is currently held by PKR incumbent S Manikavasagam.

“I was born and raised in Kapar and I opened my first dental clinic there,” Nedunchelian, 43, told a press conference at the MLCM headquarters this morning. “The people of Kapar are my classmates, patients and friends.”

“Education has been my most important agenda and MCLM has offered me a platform to take that agenda further. But my sole allegiance will be to the people of Kapar and my sole commitment will be to serve their interests.”

MCLM president, Haris Ibrahim, clarified that Nedunchelian is not an MCLM candidate but an independent who will receive full support from MCLM, including funding and resources.

“But our endorsement of Dr Nedunchelian does not mean he represents MCLM,” said Haris. “He is the rakyat’s candidate, he will only represent the rakyat and will be at all times independent of MCLM.”

Nedunchelian added that he had accepted MCLM’s support because the tenets of his personal campaign agenda fit with the movement’s social inclusion agenda.

He also said that he had previously held the position of MIC education chief but stepped down due to the party’s rigid rules and regulations.

“This was about 10 years ago and I only held the position for six months,” he said. “But I found it difficult to pursue my agenda within the party’s constraints so I resigned.”

“The only other official position I still hold is that of Indian community leader for Batu 11 in Kapar – a post which was given to me by the Klang district office.”

No word from PKR

When asked whether PKR or Manikavasagam were aware of his candidacy, Nedunchelian replied that he hadn’t spoken to the Kapar MP yet.

Haris, meanwhile, said that he attempted to make contact with Manikavasagam but was unable to reach him.

“I wanted to extend the courtesy of personally informing him of Dr Nedunchelian’s candidacy instead of having him find out in the media,” he explained.

“When I couldn’t reach him, I informed a top leader in PKR and received a text message that read ‘noted’.”

To date, MCLM has only engaged in talks with DAP which was the only Pakatan Rakyat coalition member party to attend a roundtable talk in March.

Haris reiterated that MCLM-backed candidates are intended to supplement and complement opposition candidates, and not compete with them.

“We have no problems if our independent candidates are inclined to Pakatan as long as Pakatan is pro-rakyat,” he said. “Our priority is to see a new government in Putrajaya.”