Imprisoned Malaysian Indian legislator may quit

May 5th, 2009 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Hindraf Kuala Lumpur, May 5 (IANS) Malaysian Indian legislator M. Manoharan, who says he is frustrated at not being able to work for his constituents due to his imprisonment under the stringent Internal Security Act (ISA), may resign to make way for the election of his wife.
Manoharan’s wife Pushpaneela, standing in for him, can serve the constituents of Kota Alam Shah in Selangor state better if elected a legislator, The Star said.

But the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), to which Manoharan belongs, is weighing the political pros and cons.

Manoharan, a lawyer by profession, has said he is frustrated at not being able to work as a legislator due to his imprisonment. He is waiting to meet DAP Chairman Karpal Singh May 19 before deciding on the issue.

He is one of the three leaders serving a jail term since December 2007 for staging a Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) protest rally.

“The DAP will respect whatever decision Manoharan makes, but not everyone will agree to the seat automatically going to Pushpaneela,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed `party insider’ as saying.

Pushpaneela is not averse to the idea.

Asked if she would contest if her husband resigned, she said: “I leave it to the people of Kota Alam Shah to decide whether they want me or not.”

However, she insisted that her priority was to fight for Manoharan’s release from detention.

“I want him to be able to personally serve the people who voted for him. He applied for leave to attend the state assembly sessions but (it) was turned down and this disappointed him,” said Pushpaneela who has been serving the constituency in his absence.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng Sunday said it would be good if Manoharan stayed on as voters had chosen him despite knowing full well that he was being detained under the ISA.

Karpal Singh, as per media reports, had said he would try to dissuade Manoharan from stepping down.

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