Wife takes over baton from husband

The DAP incumbent for Kota Alam Shah state seat M Manoharan has been dropped but his wife has taken up the challenge and will contest as an independent.

K Pragalath, FMT

Kota Alam Shah incumbent M Manoharan was dropped by the DAP in favour of another Hindraf member. But, his wife S Puspaneela is having none of it.

She will be contesting the Kota Alam Shah state seat as an independent. Puspaneela’s entry would make it a three-cornered fight for the constituency.

She is confident of creating an upset against her two opponents from the DAP and PPP.

“The last time, my husband won on sympathy votes. The people know me and they know my family. I am contesting because the people want me to do so. I have the support of the residents in Kota Alam Shah,” said the 52-year-old woman.

Manoharan was dropped by the DAP in favour of another Hindraf member and Shah Alam city councillor V Ganabatirao yesterday.

Manoharan, Ganabatirao, P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and K Vasanthakumar were the leading figures of Hindraf and rallied Indians to the streets of Kuala Lumpur in November 2007. Following the rally the five were detained under the now defunct Internal Security Act.

Manoharan was fielded in absentia by the DAP and beat Gerakan’s Ching Su Chen in the 12th general election. Manoharan polled 12,699 votes against Ching’s 5,515 votes. Manoharan won with a majority of 7,184 votes.

BN is fielding Information, Communications and Culture Deputy Minister Maglin Dennis D’ Cruz who is also PPP’s senior vice-president.

Puspaneela pointed out that both BN and Pakatan Rakyat had failed to field a female Indian candidate in Selangor.

When asked about her immediate concerns in the event she became a State Legislative Assembly representative, she said that she would focus her efforts on assisting single mothers and continue following up on the work done by her husband.

Maglin, when contacted, was upbeat about defeating Puspaneela and Ganabatirao.

“It does not change anything. There are so many things that even the state government can’t achieve. What more can an independent do? People must think of what they want and who can get things done for them,” said Maglin.

Ganabatirao could not be contacted for comments.

Manoharan, meanwhile, claimed that he was left in the dark on why he was dropped. He maintained that he is still a DAP member.