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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Indian voters in Kapar vow to teach 'absent' PKR MP a lesson in GE14



Some members of the Indian community in Kapar are disappointed with the "non-existence" of their elected representative and have vowed to teach him a lesson in the next general elections, the Malaysia Nanban reported today.
The Tamil daily spoke to several long-time residents of the constituency, who complained that their MP, G Manivannan, hardly visits the constituency, let alone extend help to the impoverished community there.
"Voters opted to put relatively unknown PKR candidates into office, first S Manickavasagam and then Manivannan, in the past two general elections, because they were tired of MIC representatives' failure to address the woes of the people in the area, in the last few decades.
"However, the current elected representative is committing the same mistake that MIC did in the past," lamented a resident, S Veeraya.
Another resident, who only wanted to be known as Kunasilan, alleged that Manivannan seemed to be paying more attention to national issues, than those faced by his own constituents.
"There is nothing wrong with an MP voicing out against national issues in the Parliament. However, how do his constituents benefit when an elected representative ignores his primary duty of serving his people?" he asked.
"An MP's duty, for instance, includes visiting those affected by a natural disaster in his constituency, and extend help from the funds allocated to him.
"I wonder how a person like Manivannan, who does not even realise this simple job scope, can become an MP," cried another senior citizen, P Periyasami.
The daily also quoted another long-time resident, who only wanted to be known as Arayee, claiming that there are at least 300 families in Kapar, who fall below the poverty line.
"There is no one to take these families to the Welfare Department. Politicians don't show the level of interest shown in attracting voters, in helping the people.
"There are families who used to receive Welfare Department's assistance but since have gotten the funds got cut off. There are no parties to help these families," she said.
The report noted that all the representatives in the constituency, from the year 1979 till to today, have been "parachute candidates' from Kuala Lumpur, who "does not live in the area, let alone understand the suffering of the people here".
Those interviewed have pledged to teach PKR "a lesson" and put a more "worthy" representative, who could empathise with Kapar folks and address their woes.
'No federal government backing'
Meanwhile, Manivannan, when contacted by Malaysiakini, dismissed the Malaysia Nanban report as "politically motivated", as the paper is seen closely allied with MIC.
He said it is unfair for Kapar folks to expect "national level" changes in the constituency in a short span of time, as he and his predecessor, were both from the opposition and do not have federal government backing.
"Furthermore, the complaints about local issues voiced out by the residents could have easily been taken to the attention of the local councillors, instead of going to the media.

"The paper also failed to note that I have brought to attention in the past week, at least two issues related to Kapar residents, including Kolej Bayu, and another involving a 14-year-old school student being whacked on the head with a shoe, by his teacher," he said.
As for the cut in welfare funding for residents, Manivannan said he had taken up the issue in Parliament before and asked the "300 below poverty line families" in his constituency to see him after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri break, complete with documents, so that he can take the cases up to where necessary.
He added that being a "parachute candidate" should not be much of a hindrance to an elected representative as "I took the oath before taking office, and I know I'm doing my best".- Mkini

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