Sivarasa was denied a fourth term due to his health.

Sivarasa was denied a fourth term due to his health.

LETTER | Finally, PKR President Anwar Ibrahim revealed yesterday that incumbent Sungai Buloh MP R Sivarasa’s health issue was the only reason he did not compete in GE15 again.

There was much speculation in the interim about the reasons for leaving the three-term MP. Some commentators speculated that it might be due to his past association with Azmin Ali, some mentioned the differences between Anwar and his deputy Rafizi Ramli, and some hinted that he had already served three terms and therefore needed to be replaced to give other hopefuls a chance. chance. opportunity in this coveted urban parliamentary seat of some 150,000 voters.

About a month ago when I visited Sivarasa (up) at his service center in Kota Damansara and had a short conversation with him, I found him speaking very quietly. He knew that he was not well because he was a thyroid cancer survivor, and Anwar’s statement has put an end to all speculation about Sivarasa’s candidacy.

Sivarasa has built a good base of local support since its debut in 2008 in what was then known as the Subang parliamentary constituency. His immediate predecessor was the late MIC’s KS Nijhar, a two-term MP.

I can vividly remember the few crowds that greeted Sivarasa and the candidate for the state bench, Dr. Nasir Hashim of the PSM, when they delivered their first election speeches at Sungai Buloh in 2008.

Subang was then a BN stronghold, but circumstances were changing, especially after the Bersih protests and the Hindraf Rally. Both Sivarasa and Nasir benefited from the strong tidal wave of the tsunami against BN and both emerged victorious on their first try.

Sivarasa was also fortunate that the MIC candidates in the 2008, 2013 and 2018 general elections were rookies and lightweights whom he easily defeated with substantial majorities.

During his long tenure as an MP, Sivarasa became a popular and helpful parliamentarian, highly sought after by his constituents and others. His service center in Kota Damansara was often overcrowded as many came seeking his assistance, support and referral for individual and community needs.

His constituency “Open House” was attended by his multiracial constituents who took the opportunity to speak with him. He also had a helpful staff headed by his nephew, KR Navin, to manage the service center during his absence, especially for medical treatment.

It also helped the B40 community in the constituency by providing food and other aid during lockdowns amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the most difficult issues Sivarasa faced during his long tenure was the relocation of the Sungai Buloh Greenlane horticultural nurseries due to the development of Kwasa Damansara (formerly RRI) and the construction of the recently officially opened Dash Highway.

As is well known, Sungai Buloh is famous for its horticultural industry. The affected nursery staff had embarked on a long and hard campaign to achieve a commercially viable horticultural center to house all the nurseries in Sungai Buloh.

The campaign was made more difficult for the nursery staff due to the delay and indifference of the Selangor government.

Finally, about three months ago, the state government approved a new nursery in Bukit Changgang, Banting, to be managed by the PKPS.

At this time, cleanup, grading, and infrastructure work is proceeding rapidly on the site. It will be a reality in a few months. Sivarasa, State Assemblywoman Shatiri Mansor and A Sivarajan from the PSM, who, together with the nursery operators, had fought hard for this to be happy with this fruitful outcome.

The nursery staff thank Sivarasa for chairing countless meetings over the years to make the nursery center a reality.

The magnanimity of Sivarasa, who took the decision to dismiss him without any hard feelings, unlike other sitting MPs who were dismissed by the various political parties, should also be appreciated.

Many made a fuss and have criticized and even openly questioned the decision of the party leadership. Only yesterday, both Anwar and Sivarasa mentioned the latter’s medical condition as the only reason for denying him the candidacy.

Going up against Khairy Jamaluddin, the BN candidate, could be difficult and Sivarasa’s health could be further affected during the campaign.

This is why Anwar rejected Sivarasa’s candidacy and opted for PKR deputy chief of information R Ramanan to contest Sungai Buloh’s seat.

Health permitting, Sivarasa may return if Pakatan Harapan comes to power and could be made a minister through senatorial appointment. He could also receive a state award for his exemplary service from Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor during his birthday celebration on December 11, 2022.

The views expressed herein are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of malaysiakini.

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