CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Jan 12 — MyPPP president Tan Sri M. Kayveas who had previously announced his intent to contest in the January 26 Cameron Highlands by-election backed out today.
Instead, the former Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmaker pledged his support for the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate M. Manogaran.
“I have decided to withdraw from contesting the by-election and will give my full support and cooperation to PH” he told reporters inside the nominations centre at Dewan Gemilang in SMK Sultan Ahmad Shah here.
Nominations for the Pahang parliamentary seat opened today, from 9am to 10am.
“I have no enmity with my BN friends, but the top leadership did not appreciate my loyalty. They promise to give me Cameron Highlands, but again go back to the traditional story.
“What happen to the traditional story now?” Kayveas asked, referring to a deal between BN’s Indian component party MIC and Malay component Umno which saw the coalition field an Orang Asli pensioned policeman Ramli Mohd Noor as its candidate instead.
Former Taiping MP from 2004 to 2008, Kayveas said the BN has a chance to keep its hold on Cameron Highlands — known as the country’s top produce farm.
“But as a local I don’t see any changes. The environment being damaged, farmers are not getting fair deal and there is still land issues on the temporary occupation licences.
“So we give chance to PH now,” he added.
After announcing his withdrawal, Kayveas had a brief chat with both PH and BN leaders at the nomination centre here.
He spoke with DAP’s M. Kulasegaran, Anthony Loke, Gobind Singh Deo and BN’s Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
The election for Cameron Highlands is a four-way battle involving BN’s Ramli Mohd Noor, PH’s M. Manogaran, independent candidate Sallehudin Ab Talib, who is a senior lecturer in Institut Aminuddin Baki Genting Highland and another independent candidate Wong Seng Yee, who is a local farmer and activist.
Malays make up the majority voters, at about 33.5 per cent followed by ethnic Chinese at 29.48 per cent, Orang Asli at 21.56 per cent, ethnic Indians at 14.91 per cent and others at 0.55 per cent.
The by-election was called the Election Court annulled the GE14 results that saw BN’s Datuk C. Sivarraajh win in a five-cornered fight with 10,307 votes, beating out PH’s Manogaran who got 9,710 votes; Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud of PAS (3,587 votes); Mohd Tahir Kassim of Berjasa (81 votes) and B. Suresh Kumar of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (680 votes).