PETALING JAYA, 6 May 2009: Barisan Nasional (BN) component Gerakan today urged DAP Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan not to resign his seat, and offered to assist his wife Pushpaneela in serving the constituency.
“Selangor and Malaysia can ill afford a by-election at this time, and the focus should be returned to strengthening the economy and increasing the standard of living of all Malaysians,” said Gerakan vice president A Kohilan Pillay and Selangor Gerakan chief Ch’ng Su Chen in a joint statement today.
They were responding to a statement released by Manoharan, who has been under Internal Security Act (ISA) detention since December 2007, stating he was considering resigning from his Kota Alam Shah seat as he has been unable to serve his constituents.
His wife Pushpaneela has been serving the constituency on his behalf since he was elected in the 8 March 2008 general election.
Kohilan In their statement, Kohilan and Ch’ng said “constant politicking and the manufacturing of by-elections” have now become a hindrance to governance.
They urged all parties to reduce the politicking and contain their emotions, especially those who are aspiring to contest the seat.
“A lot has happened over the past year, and the focus must be returned to governance,” Kohilan, who is a senator, and Ch’ng advised.
They called on the government to release Manoharan and all other ISA detainees who do not pose an immediate risk to the nation’s security
“We feel that Manoharan has been duly elected and should be given the opportunity to serve the electorate. It is most unfortunate that he is still being detained under the ISA, and we hope he will be released promptly,” said Kohilan.
“In the meantime, we are ever ready to assist Pushpaneela, and Ch’ng being a former ADUN can lend his experience,” added Kohilan, who is also the deputy minister in the Foreign Affairs ministry.
He said Gerakan’s Klang service centre is open every day and they would assist anyone who needs help.
Ch’ng , who is the former assemblyperson for Kota Alam Shah, said in the statement that Selangor Gerakan is willing to play a meaningful role if requested by Pushpaneela.
Yesterday, Selangor Pakatan Rakyat launched a FreeMano campaign to voice their support for Manoharan and to demand for his release, along with the other ISA detainees.
Manoharan said he would make a decision on whether to quit his seat or stay after meeting DAP chairperson Karpal Singh on 19 May.