SEREMBAN: Seremban MP John Fernandez has made an about-turn over defending his parliamentary seat in the 13th general election (GE13).
The 72-year-old lawyer who had won the seat on a DAP ticket in 2008 will seek re-election as an Independent.
“Although I had openly said I would not be defending my seat at a ceramah two weeks ago, I have now changed my mind,” he said, adding that five others three from DAP and two from MIC would join his team.
“All of us will be going to the Election Commission office to sort out the necessary paper work.”
The five include former Taman Bukit Mas DAP chairman S. Vijayan, 46, who will be contesting Bukit Kepayang, Nilai Perdana DAP vice-chief S. Rajashegher (Nilai) and Senawang DAP branch member R. Sasikumar (Temiang).
The rest are former MIC members lawyer S. Karthigesan who will be contesting Senawang and businessman Daniel Simon (Port Dickson).
All of them were present at a press conference held to state dissatisfaction over the marginalisation of Indian members in DAP.
Fernandez, who was first elected in 1974 as the assemblyman in Rasah, said: “The marginalisation of the Indians in DAP has been going on for a long time now.
“I thought they (DAP leaders) will change but it did not happen.”
He cited the axing of several elected representatives from the community for GE13.
Rajashegar said it was “unjust” that Negri Sembilan DAP leaders had overlooked those who had served for so many years.
Vijayan, a DAP member for 24 years, said he had initially not planned to contest but the “arrogance” of the state leadership made him change his mind.
Karthigesan said he was contesting Senawang at the request of the electorate.
Meanwhile, former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat may contest as an Independent, setting the stage for a possible three-cornered fight in Pandan.
Sources said the Pandan MP was “seriously considering” throwing his hat into the ring following calls from his constituents and supporters to defend his seat.
News of him contesting as an Independent set tongues wagging further when his news service team sought to obtain feedback from netizens by posting in Chinese: “Pandan voters, Ong Tee Keat needs you” on Ong's Facebook and Twitter accounts.
■ For more election stories, please visit The Star's GE13 site
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