Malaysian polls: political heirs make their debut

February 22nd, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 22 (IANS) Many children or or other relatives of Malaysian politicians are making their foray into politics by either contesting seats or campaigning alongside the leaders for the country’s 12th general elections. In some cases, the children are contesting their father’s seat while some others will try their luck from other constituencies for the March 8 elections.

Among the notable political heirs is Mukhriz Mahathir, son of long-time prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir had prevented his son from contesting as long as he was the prime minister.

Ethnic Indian politician Karpal Singh is expected to field one of his four sons, Govind Singh Deo, although a formal announcement has not yet been made, The Star newspaper said Friday.

Earlier speculation had been that Karpal Singh, who is chairman of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), might field two of his sons.

Former health Minister Chua Soi Lek, who quit some weeks ago after being caught on camera having a sex romp, has yielded his seat to his son Chua Tee Yong.

Chua belongs to the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), which represents ethnic Chinese who constitute 33 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people.

A daughter-in-law is also making her political debut. Roselinda Abdul Jamil’s father-in-law is Zakarai Mohamad Deros, a lawmaker from Selangor.

Relatives of former lawmakers who will be making their debut this year are Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib, Ling Hee Leong, Lim Si Pin and Nurul Izza Anwar.

Political aides of some leaders are also contesting the elections, hoping to bolster their bosses’ careers while charting their own. Among them is Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s political secretary Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh, The New Straits Times reported.

Contrary to earlier reports, Vel Paari, son of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) chief S. Samy Vellu, does not figure in the list of the party’s nominees. MIC represents the 2.5 million ethnic Indians, estimated to be eight percent of the population.

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