Santhara not defending his seat in Segamat

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Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) announced yesterday that they would field Edmund Santhara Kumar – but his name did not appear on the Election Commission’s list of candidates today.

It was reported that Santhara did not turn up at the nomination centre, and it is unclear what led to this development.

Santhara captured Segamat from then MIC president S Subramaniam in 2018 as PKR candidate.

Shafwan Zaidon

He was among those who left the party during the Sheraton Move and subsequently joined Bersatu as an associate member.

He joined PBM – a party made up mostly of PKR defectors – in October.

He had repeatedly expressed a desire to defend Segamat, and the local Bersatu division even lobbied for Perikatan Nasional to field him in the seat yesterday.

Santhara won Segamat on a PKR ticket in Election 2018 with 24,060 votes a margin of 5,476 votes against his closest challenger Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam from Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS’ Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil.

He defected to Bersatu after the Sheraton Move in early 2020 and later on to PBM.

Segamat will now see a four-cornered battle between BN, Pakatan Harapan, Perikatan Nasional and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang).

BN is represented by Tan Sri M. Ramasamy, Syed Hairoul Faizey Syed Ali will contest for Pejuang, R Yuneswaran for PH and Poobalan Ponnusamy for PN.

In the interview, Santhara claimed to have spent over RM1 million of his own money on the Johor parliamentary constituency on top of government allocations.

He said the money was spent on boats and vehicles for government agencies to help with the flood relief.