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Former Kedah exco explains disappearance

ALOR SETAR, 8 April 2009: Former Kedah executive council member V Arumugam, who returned from India today, said he had left the country because of threats on his life and that of his family, as well as the pressure on him to leave the party.

“I fled to Mumbai alone to seek peace of mind and only returned after the conclusion of the by-election for the Bukit Selambau state seat as I feel the situation would have cooled down and it would be safe,” he said.

However, he declined to reveal who had pressured him to defect but said that only by leaving the country could he escape from being a victim of circumstances.

“I don’t regret giving up the two posts (state assemblyperson and exco) on 8 Feb,” he told reporters when met on arrival at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport, here at about 3 pm.

Reporters and photographers, who got wind of Arumugam’s return, had waited for him at the airport since 1.45pm.

His wife M Mariyaee, 36, and youngest child, Selvanthiran, 7, were waiting for him, accompanied by a lawyer, Murshidah Mustafa.

Kedah state assembly speaker Datuk Mohd Isa Ismail, political secretary to the Kedah menteri besar, Md Sanusi Md Nor, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate who won the Bukit Selambau by-election yesterday, S Manikumar, were also at the airport to greet him.      

Arumugam had won the Bukit Selambau state seat as an Independent candidate in the general election on 8 March, last year before joining the PKR.

He claimed that he had on numerous occasions made police reports on the threat and the vandalism on his car.

“How long do I have to wait…the police will only act when I’m killed whereas people want to kidnap me; and an identification parade had been made. Don’t tell me there are no suspects yet,” he said.

Arumugam said he left it to the top party leadership to determine his position in the PKR, but at the same time, he said he planned to look for a job.

“I’m still a PKR member and deputy chairperson of the state liaison body as well as vice-head of the Merbok PKR division. – Bernama


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