JOHOR BARU: He was an unknown and polled a mere 999 votes – one short of his own modest target – in the last election.
This time around though, Pakatan Harapan’s likely candidate for the Segamat parliamentary seat is aiming for a huge upset.
PKR’s Datuk Seri Dr Edmund Santhara (pic) wants to bring down Health Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, 65, who is defending the seat for a fourth term.
Dr Santhara managed 999 votes as an Independent for the Hulu Selangor parliamentary seat in the previous general election, coming out last in a field of four.
Describing his defeat then as “one vote less than my target of 1,000”, he declared that he would do his best this time in Segamat.
“PKR has put its faith in me,” he said yesterday.
Dr Santhara, 47, holds a PhD in business administration and is the PKR national integration bureau chairman.
The former Masterskill Education Group Bhd chief executive officer said he felt a big difference between the previous and current polls, describing the new partnership between Pakatan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as “formidable”.
Dr Santhara has adopted a campaign theme of “Merdeka Rakyat”, outlining 25 key points in aid of Segamat folk, with emphasis on better housing and helping the Indian community.
“There are over 2,800 Indians in the district and many live in poverty. They can’t even afford to pay a RM100 housing rent or take the family out for a RM50 dinner,” he claimed.
Dr Santhara dismissed claims by Barisan Nasional cybertroopers that he was not from Johor.
“Both my parents were rubber tappers in Layang-Layang in Kluang.
“It’s where I was born and raised. I even represented the state in a chess competition, which I won,” he added.