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Friday May 3, 2013

GE13: Independent Ponusamy undeterred by strong coalitions

Simple
choices:
Ponusamy
(left) using
the logo of a
key doing his
campaign
rounds in his
old car and
on his own
expenses. Simple choices: Ponusamy (left) using the logo of a key doing his campaign rounds in his old car and on his own expenses.

KUANTAN: Despite facing the machinery might from both sides of the divide, independent candidate G. Ponusamy @ Ram is undeterred.

Together with his campaign manager Abdul Karim Mohamed, the two travelled around the Indera Mahkota parliament in their old cars — a 17-year-old Proton Iswara and a 15-year-old Proton Wira — day and night to campaign nonchalantly on the ground. They distributed campaign materials — photostated papers of Ponusamy’s personal manifesto and the symbol of a key — to passers-by for their support.

When met by Star Metro, the former state PKR founding member and vice-chairman, admitted there was no way he could match the machinery of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

“So far, I have spent RM35,000 to print 50,000 copies of leaflets while some sympathisers have contributed to my campaigning to assist in my quest to defeat both coalitions for the parliamentary seat.

“I am confident though as everywhere I go, the people welcomed me, shook my hands and wished me the best of luck,” he said.

Ponusamy said it was an encouragement for him with such show of support despite being a newcomer to the parliamentary constituency.

He said his main aim was to secure higher votes than state PKR chairman Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman, whom he was at odds with.

In 2008, Ponusamy, who was then the Bentong PKR division chief, contested against incumbent Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai but lost with a majority of 12,549 votes.

After Fauzi joined the PKR and elected the state chief, Ponusamy was critical of his leadership, resulting in him getting sidelined together with several other leaders, including incumbent Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail, who had been taken out and leading the PKR charge in Terengganu.

Ponusamy will be facing Fauzi and Barisan’s Datuk Wan Adnan Wan Mamat, the incumbent Tanjung Lumpur assemblyman in a three-cornered fight. He claimed that due to both Fauzi and Wan Adnan being unpopular among the people, he stood a good chance to create an upset and win the seat.

“My manifesto is to stop Lynas plant, speak up for the people and represent their voices in Parliament.

“Ubah Sebelum Parah, Ubah Demi Maruah (Change Before Severe, Change For Dignity) is my slogan,” he said.

Ponusamy said his campaign would be a clean one without resorting to personal attacks or slander his opponents.

“I would focus on my personal manifesto and project my 14 years’ contributions and struggles under the PKR. My heart and soul is still with the party but not the present state leadership,” he said.

Indera Mahkota parliament has a total voters of 64,314 with Malay voters making up 64.6%.

For more election stories, please visit The Star’s GE13 site

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