PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim last night announced his candidate for Semenyih, a state seat eyed by PSM's Arutchelvan. PKR is also interested in PSM's Kota Damansara.
PETALING JAYA: PKR’s decision to announce its candidate for the Semenyih state seat in Selangor is a major blow for Pakatan Rakyat-friendly PSM which had earmarked that seat for its secretary-general S Arutchelvan.
Arutchelvan is a known face in Semenyih and had started his work at the constituency believing that he would be the Pakatan representative for the seat.
However last night at a ceramah in Gombak, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim announced that PKR’s Hamidi Hassan would be contesting in Semenyih.
There could be more bad news for PSM as PKR is also said to be interested in contesting in the
Kota Damansara state seat, won by PSM president Dr Nasir Hashim in 2008.
FMT had previously reported that PKR had identified a lawyer as a candidate for this seat.
Last night Anwar did not announce his candidate for Kota Damansara, merely saying that his party was still in negotiations with PSM over the seat, and that an announcement was expected today.
Apart from PKR’s decision to contest in PSM stronghold Semenyih, there were no other major suprises in the PKR’s list of candidates for the parliamentary and state seats in Selangor.
PKR would be contesting in 11 parliamentary and 20 state seats in the state, and as expected Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim would now move to the Pelabuhan Kelang state seat, giving way to new face Dr Idris Ahmad in Ijok.
Other PKR new faces for state seats are Borhan Aman Shah (Dengkil), Lee Chin Cheh (Kajang), Dr Daroyah Alwi (Sementa), Hamidi A Hassan (Semenyih), Tengku Marziah Tengku Sulaiman (Kuang) and K Ramachandran (Batang Kali).
Eleven others, including Selangor PKR chief Azmin Ali, would be contesting in state seats they had won in 2008. Azmin will be defending his Bukit Antarabangsa seat, the others are Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Seri Setia), Suhaimi Shafiei (Seri Muda), Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Seri Andalas), Rodziah Ismail (Batu Tiga), Dr Yaakop Sapari (Kota Anggerik), Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan), Haniza Talha (Taman Medan), Amir Shaari (Batu Caves), Gan Pei Nei (Rawang) dan Yahya Sahari (Permatang).
Anwar has also decided to move former Kapar MP S Manikavasagam to contest in the Bukit Melawati state seat to replace M Muthiah.
The Kapar parliamentary seat will be contested by PKR Youth wing leader G Manivanan, one of five new faces unleashed by PKR for the parliamentary seats in Selangor.
The others are Dr Aziz Bari (Sabak Bernam), Wong Chen (Kelana Jaya), Rafizi Ramli (Pandan) and Khalid Jaafar in Hulu Selangor.
Incumbents that would be defending the parliament seats are Mohamed Azmin Ali (Gombak), Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (Kuala Langat), R Sivarasa (Subang), Hee Loy Sian (Petaling Jaya Selatan), Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang) and William Leong (Selayang).
Anwar has decided to drop Loh Gwo Burne from contesting again. He won the Kelana Jaya parliamentary seat in 2008.
Azmin defends Khalid
Khalid’s move to Pelabuhan Klang was expected as the party wants to win back the seat which it lost to Umno through defection.
PKR had won the seat in 2008 through Badrul Hisham Abdullah who had defeated Umno’s Roselinda Abd Jamil and independent candidate Nazir Mansor by a 4,407-vote majority. But on Oct 29, 2009, Badrul Hisham declared himself as an independent and on April 30, 2010, he joined Umno.
Khalid himself had expressed confidence in winning back the state seat, and of forming the next state government.
Azmin meanwhile told the crowd last night that he would defend Khalid’s record in Selangor from Umno’s attacks.
“Selangor has come under terrible attack (from Umno). I will be the general in this state and defend Khalid Ibrahim,” he said, brushing aside Umno talks that he is eyeing the menteri besar’s post if Pakatan retains Selangor.
Azmin added that Umno had no capable leader to take on Khalid as the state MB.
“Who can fight him? Noh Omar? But they (Umno) had to make Najib their state chief,” he said, adding that Khalid’s administrative record of the state for the past five years was clean.
“Khalid did not steal land, he did not buy rings. Selangor’s reserves rose from RM400 million to RM2.6 billion,” he said.