PETALING JAYA, Oct 27 — Incumbent Klang MP Charles Santiago was aware there were requests to replace him going back as far as the 2013 general election, Selangor DAP chief Gobind Singh Deo said yesterday.

Calling the decision to drop Charles in Klang difficult, Gobind conceded that some within the party had been proposing replacements ever since the activist was first elected in 2008 on a DAP ticket.

“Suffice for me to say that we have given him a lot of opportunities to stand in Klang in 2008, 2013 and 2018; he is fully aware of the fact, the request for replacement, you know as far as 2013 and subsequently in 2018.

“Of course, I was able to speak to the leadership for him to carry on (as MP) and that was done.

“We have four seats in Selangor. We have to look and consider different persons or new personalities to take over in Parliament,” he told reporters after a party fundraising dinner at the MBPJ Stadium carpark here last night.

In Charles’ case, Gobind said the party had to give others the same opportunity he had been given.

“Other people had put forward names. In respect of other candidates, we need to move forward. Santiago was given the opportunity. Three terms.”

When asked about the outpouring of support from the community for Charles, Gobind said the candidate replacing him, V. Ganabatirau, would win them over in time.

“YB Gana has been an elected rep and exco, in terms of dealing with issues on the ground you can see his record in his area.

“He (Gana) is to me an exco that has performed,” Gobind added.

Earlier tonight, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke announced Ganabatirau as the party’s candidate for Klang, replacing the three-term incumbent Charles.

Prior to the announcement, rumours that Charles would be dropped had already been spreading, prompting some non-governmental groups and supporters to launch a campaign advocating for him to be retained.