PKR deputy president Chua Tian Chang has expressed his wish to be fielded in his former seat Batu for the next general election.
Tian Chua, as he is known, clarified he is not calling for the constituency’s present lawmaker P Prabakaran to step aside for him now.
“I never said that he (Prabakaran) should step aside.
“What I said was in the next election, I can stand, so the question is where should I go.
“The most practical is Batu. But I think it is up to the party to choose,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted this afternoon.
Chua had earlier given an interview to The Malaysian Insight saying he was the most practical choice for the seat as he was well-known and well-regarded there.
He was the Batu MP for two terms, from 2008 until 2018.
In response, Prabakaran retorted with a pointed statement on his official Facebook page.
“Maybe what he (Chua) regards as practical differs from my perspective. To me, it is very practical for a young person like me to serve voters in the best way I can.
“It is very practical for me also to draw near to voters and vice versa, as they have had years of unresolved problems.
“It is very practical for me to bring up issues affecting Batu and to bring change seeing that I am from the area,” Prabakaran said, adding he would rather spend time serving his constituents than responding to political queries.
Explaining his stance, Chua said that he did not mean to present himself as the better person for the role during the interview.
“I am not the most practical choice, but it is most practical for me to contest in Batu […]
“I will prefer (to contest) somewhere I am familiar with and where I have served before, but it is up to the party,” he reiterated.
The veteran politician stressed that being an MP required significant commitment and hoped Prabakaran was up for it.
“He was chosen so he has to work harder to serve (the people). But this has nothing to do with whether you contest in the next round or not, that is a separate issue,” he added.
Just 22 when he was elected last year, Prabakaran is the youngest MP in the history of the Dewan Rakyat.
He contested the seat in GE14 as an independent candidate but was later backed by PKR after Chua was disqualified from contesting on nomination day.
Chua took the EC to court and won his challenge earlier this month. The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that he is now eligible to contest in future polls.
Soon after the court win, calls surfaced for Prabakaran to resign and allow Chua’s comeback through a by-election.
The Batu MP refused, and Chua has distanced himself from such calls. – Malaysiakini
Earlier report: Nov 28, Tian Chua Says He Is the Most Practical Choice for Batu