Senators keen on contesting in polls

(The Star) – Several prominent senators who are ministers and deputy ministers are expected to stand as candidates in the 13th general election.

Among those tipped to contest are Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, MICpresident Datuk G. Palanivel, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Gan Ping Sieu and Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay.

DAP’s S. Ramakrishnan is also touted to contest in Johor.

It is an open secret that Raja Nong Chik is expected to be fielded in Lembah Pantai, which is currently held by PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar, who beat incumbent Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil by 2,895 votes in the 2008 general election.

“I have indicated to the Prime Minister many times that I wish to contest in Lembah Pantai,” he said, unfazed by talk that he would be facing a tough fight there.

Gan, who is also MCA vice-president, is touted as a potential candidate for Kluang as he has been seen there attending to people’s needs weekly.

Gan, 48, said: “Given my age, party positions in national and divisional levels and my desire to continue my political career, it is only natural that I contest,” he said.

According to MIC sources, Palanivel is slotted to be fielded in Cameron Highlands, where he has been making frequent trips.

However, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department did not confirm where he would contest.