He is not pulling out of the race for a senator position that may be offered by Pakatan Rakyat, as claimed by some.
“Many people in Semenyih are saying that I would withdraw from the contest. It is not true. I am definitely contesting in Semenyih,” said the Kajang municipal councillor.
He said this in response to rumours that he would not contest and instead would be offered a senatorship by Pakatan Rakyat if it captured the federal government.
Sources told FMT that Serdang PKR division chief Hamidi Hasan is eyeing the Semenyih seat due to previous request from Semenyih PKR division for a local, Malay candidate.
Hamidi is doing so without the consent of his party since PKR has not announced any intention of contesting in Semenyih.
“He was not even shortlisted by the Hulu Langat PKR division and he claims to be PKR’s Malay candidate for Semenyih,” said a Pakatan source.
It is believed that Hamidi is working as a staff for PKR deputy president Azmin Ali. Azmin is the Gombak MP, Bukit Antarabangsa state assemblyman and Selangor PKR chief.
Asked about the calls for a Malay candidate, Arutchelvan dismissed it.
“Semenyih is one of the three state constituencies within the Hulu Langat parliamentary constituency. In the 11th general election held in 2004, the PAS candidate lost with a bigger majority than I did in 2008,” he said.
The other state seats in Hulu Langat are Kajang and Dusun Tua. Kajang is represented by PKR’s Lee Kim Sin whereas Dusun Tua is represented by Ismail Sani of Umno.
In 2004, Mohd Khairuddin Othman of PAS lost to Umno’s Ahmad Kuris Mohd Nor. Khairuddin polled 5,425 votes to Ahmad’s 13,280 votes. Ahmad won with a majority of 7,855 votes.
In 2008, Arutchelvan contested in Semenyih and lost to Johan Aziz of Umno by a majority of 1,140 votes. Johan polled 11,588 votes to Arutchelvan’s 10,448.
Semenyih is a semi-urban seat. In 2008, it had 54% Malay, 29% Chinese and 17% Indian voters.
Arutchelvan also said that Hulu Langat MP Che Rosli Che Mat won the parliamentary seat not due to Malay votes from Semenyih or Dusun Tua but because of a majority support from Kajang.
PSM would also be contesting in another state constituency in Kota Damansara in Selangor, Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency and Jelapang state constituency. The last two seats are in Perak.
Tiff with DAP?
On another matter, Arutchelvan told FMT that there are attempts to put DAP and PSM at loggerheads over a state seat contested in Perak.
“Our party members have so far found three banners depicting PSM central committee member M Sukumaran as PSM candidate for Jalong if DAP does not make way for us to contest in Jelapang.
“I believe BN or some third party is trying to create more rifts in our relations with DAP,” he said.
Sukumaran is one of the six PSM activists who were detained under the Emergency (Prevention of Crime and Public Order) Ordinance in 2011 for suspicion of being the key movers of Bersih 2.0 rally. All six were subsequently released due to overwhelming public pressure.
Jalong is currently represented by DAP’s Leong Mee Meng.
In 2008, PSM deputy chairman M Sarasvathy contested a three-cornered battle in Jelapang against DAP’s Hee Yit Foong and Loh Koi Pin of MCA.
Hee won with 12,219 votes and a majority of 6,707 votes. However, Hee declared herself as a BN- friendly Independent which caused the fall of the Pakatan-led Perak government in 2009.