Saturday, April 20, 2013

GE13: Independents crowd Selangor like never before

Candidates submitting their forms at the nomination centre in Kuala Kubu Baharu, Selangor.

Independent candidates have swamped Selangor, a state accustomed to straight fights.

A total of 55 independent candidates, and the participation of smaller parties like Parti Kesejahteraan Tanah Air (Kita), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Semalaysia (Berjasa) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), have turned some constituencies into a six-way battle.

Voters in the Kapar parliamentary seat, and Kajang and Kota Damansara state seats, will be spoilt for choice with six candidates to choose from.

Coincidentally, all three seats will be contested by Barisan Nasional, PKR, Berjasa and three independent candidates each.

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erjasa is also contesting in Selayang and Subang, while Kita has its candidates in Dengkil, Sungai Pelek and Taman Medan.

PSM is engaged in a three-corner fight with PKR and Barisan in Semenyih, after seat negotiations with PKR reached a deadlock.

PSM is also contesting in Kota Damansara, but under the PKR ticket.

The deluge of independent candidates for both parliamentary and state seats brings the total tally to 219 people, definitely a record for Selangor.

Although the big boys from Barisan or Pakatan are still expected to win the seats, but having a multi-cornered fight when every vote matters changes the dynamics of the game.

Keeping in mind that about 21.5% of state seats and 13% of parliamentary seats were won with a majority of less than 1,000 votes in the 2008 polls, the presence of these "third, fourth and fifth" force could tip the scales either way for Barisan or Pakatan.

Coupled with the fact that many of these candidates are disgruntled party members, be it DAP, Umno or other parties, it is likely that the majority for the eventual winner will be paper thin.

Instead of sulking at home, or sabotaging the party behind the scene, these independents are publicly defiant and some even believe they stand a strong chance of winning the seats.

Kota Alam Shah independent candidates L.P. Selvam and Loo Hok Chai, and Pandamaran independent candidate A. Deliganu, were as of Friday still DAP members.

Loo and Deliganu are prepared to be sacked, while Selvam sent in his resignation on Friday.

All three claimed that the reason they are contesting is to provide the constituents with a candidate who understands local issues and not the party's choice of "parachute candidates".

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