THE question of which coalition party from Barisan Nasional will be contesting in Buntong, the village in Ipoh famed for its kacang putih, remains up in the air.
Candidates from MIC and MyPPP are vying for the state seat within the Ipoh Barat constituency.
Perak MyPPP vice-chairman Datuk Naran Singh is said to be the party’s choice, while state MIC NGO sub-committee chairman S. Jayagopi is also eyeing it.
Prior to 2013, candidates from MCA had contested the seat.
DAP’S A. Sivasubramaniam has been Buntong assemblyman since 2008.
There has also been talk that PSM committee member R.Rani might contest in Buntong.
Naran said people must not forget that in 1969, MyPPP contested and won the seat, although at that time the party was part of the Opposition.
In 1972, the party joined Barisan. In the 1974 general election, MyPPP lost and the seat was taken over by MCA.
“It was only in 2013 that MIC swapped seats from Sungkai to contest in Buntong.
“As a coordinator for MyPPP, I have been doing ground work in Buntong since 2015, and meeting the constituents of all races as well as visiting schools and temples.
“Activities have been on-going, and since 2015, at least 300 initiatives have been carried out there,” he said, adding that he will leave it to Barisan’s top leadership to decide on who will contest the seat.
Jayagopi said MIC was the party representing Malaysian Indians and Buntong is an area with a one of the highest concentrations on Indians in the country.
“MIC is the party that will raise issues effecting the community most effectively because MyPPP represents other races as well.
“MIC is the right party to voice the grouses of the people of Buntong though there is no denying that MyPPP has been carrying out work in Buntong as well,” said Jayagopi.
Sivasubramaniam said there are issues in the constituency that have yet to be sorted after 20 years.
He said these include land for housing and temples, and the building of low-cost homes.
“I am confident about who the people of Buntong will vote for,” he added.
During GE13, Sivasubramaniam defeated Barisan’s C. Sivarraajh from MIC by a majority of 8,629 votes.