Rajvinder Singh

Rajvinder Singh
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA: After being in limbo for the past two weeks, Johor PKR chief Datuk Chua Jui Meng was named as the Pakatan candidate for Segamat by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Chua had described himself as being "homeless" after DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang was named as the candidate for the Gelang Patah seat which he had been eyeing.

He will be facing off with his "good friend" and the incumbent, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, in Segamat, which the MIC deputy president won with a majority of 2,991 votes.

Not only will Chua find it hard but he will also be facing a "revolt" from within the ranks of Pakatan Rakyat.

DAP state deputy chairman Norman Fernandez said Segamat had always been a traditional DAP seat and there may be repercussions now that it was being given to Chua.

He said some may think it as an exchange with Gelang Patah but that was not the case because DAP had also contested in the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency.

A senior Johor party member said Segamat voters would be able to accept anyone from PKR except for Chua.

"He used to ruthlessly attack the DAP and campaigned against us. This has given him a black mark," he said.

He said many people would remember Chua's past and it could cause the election machinery to work at only half strength.

He also said Segamat was DAP's heirloom and handing it over to PKR would hurt the feelings of many party members.

"It is a winnable seat if the status quo had been maintained but with PKR constesting, its anybody's game now," he said.

Chinese make up 46 per cent of the voters in Segamat, Malays 44 per cent, and Indians 10 per cent.

"We think Umno and BN sometimes have a better way of resolving this type of situation. They have a better mechanism such as making someone a senator. We in the opposition don't have such luxury," said another DAP member.

It is learned that many in DAP still see the deal to let Chua contest the seat as not set in ink.

The party member also said the statement made by Kit Siang showed that there was no final agreement on the Segamat seat as yet.

"DAP's agreement to let PKR contest in the Segamat is contingent on the settlement of all DAP-PKR disputes on all seat allocations in Johor -- DAP contesting seven parliamentary seats out of a total of 26 parliamentary seats as well as contesting in 15 state assembly seats (including Johor Jaya) out of a total of 56 state assembly seats.

"In both cases, DAP will be contesting in less than one-third of the total parliamentary and state assembly seats in Johor," Kit Siang had said.

Subramaniam welcomed the contest against Chua, saying Chua had campaigned from house-to-house in the 2004 general election for him.

He said that when he first moved to Segamat, Chua had actively campaigned for him but now he was going to campaign.