‘Why change Charles Santiago?’ ask groups to DAP

‘Why change Charles Santiago?’ ask groups to DAP

KLANG: A group made-up of Indian organisations want Selangor DAP chief Gobind Singh and other state party leaders to tell them why there was a need to change the candidate for the Klang parliamentary seat.

S.P.Nathan, who is spokesman for Coalition of Indian NGOs (i-25), said they were disturbed to hear that Klang’s incumbent MP Charles Santiago would be replaced with another candidate.

“The community is baffled to note that Charles Santiago, a respected member of the community, and an MP known for his competency, parliamentary performance, community service, local initiatives and hard-work is being side-lined by the party.

“This has caused confusion, frustration and even anger in the community,” said Nathan in a statement.

There was talk that the Selangor DAP leadership wants Kota Kemuning assemblyman V. Ganabathirao to contest for the Klang parliamentary seat.

He added the DAP had approached the Indian NGOs after the Hindraf rally in 2007 and asked them to recommend potential Indian candidates for the party.

The DAP had wanted Indian candidates that had the ability to represent the party’s aspirations as well subscribe to its core values of meritocracy, inclusiveness and accountability

. According to Nathan, i-25 had recommended Santiago based on his records and performance as a professional and activist.

“He was nominated for the Klang constituency in GE12 and won and continued to win with increasing margins in GE13 and GE14.

“Why is a party that approached the Indian NGOs to nominate a good and competent candidate now marginalising the same person who has remained competent and acknowledged as such by the voters and also by other members of Parliament?” asked Nathan.

When news leaked out that Santiago was to be replaced, various organisations such as Klang’s Chinese business guilds and community associations, Indian trades associations and residents’ associations had come forward to record their support for the incumbent MP.

The 12 organisations under i-25 are Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin, Pertubuhan Titian Digital Malaysia, Education, Welfare and Research Foundation, MySkills Foundation, Malaysian Tamil Educational Research & Development Foundation, Telugu Association of Malaysia, All Malaysia Malayalee Association, Development of Human Resources in Rural Area Malaysia, Malaysia Hindu Dharma Maamandram, Pertubuhan Pembangunan Dan Kemajuan Sekolah Tamil Malaysia, Malaysian Association of Indian University Graduates and Port Klang Hindu Youth Organisation.

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