New faces for GE14? Ambiga, Maria Chin, Wan Saiful being mooted

  • Nation
  • Friday, 23 Feb 2018

PETALING JAYA: A number of candidates outside of the political mainstream may run under the Pakatan Harapan banner in the coming general election, according to sources.

Among them are Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan and Maria Chin Abdullah of the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), as well as Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who founded the think-tank, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).

Discussions involving figures from the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) and the G25 group of prominent Malays have also been mooted, sources said.

Former Bersih chairman Ambiga is being considered as a candidate to take on MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam in Segamat.

Current Bersih chairman Maria Chin has been slated to replace either PKR vice president Tian Chua in Batu or his party colleague Hee Loy Sian in Petaling Jaya Selatan.

Both men have served two parliamentary terms under the PKR banner.

Maria Chin however denied speculation that she would contest in the 14th general election (GE14).

"It's a rumour," she told The Star.

Such speculation was fuelled by Wan Saiful resigning as chief executive officer of IDEAS this week.

"I see my next move as a step that I must take now or I will regret it forever," he said on Thursday (Feb 22).

When he talked about bringing his political "passion to a wider audience," it seemed to confirm that a run is imminent.

When contacted he declined to comment, saying that he is seeking advice before proceeding.

He is believed to be lining up a seat to contest under the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia ticket.

It would be refreshing to see qualified candidates from outside the regular political sphere, said constitutional expert and social commentator Syahredzan Johan.

"I think if respected people from outside of political parties decide to run in GE14, it would be a welcome change.

"We always need good candidates and representatives in Parliament, and people like Ambiga, Maria Chin or Wan Saiful would add value to the legislative process," said the prominent lawyer.


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