By ELWEEN LOKE
SITIAWAN: MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said he was surprised the PKR had not chosen to field a local party leader for the Lumut parliamentary constituency.
“I am sure the local PKR officials were more upset to learn that the choice was given to a PAS member - who will be contesting under a PKR ticket,” he told reporters during a walkabout at Pekan Gurney, near here, Sunday.
Kong, who is defending the Lumut seat for the Barisan Nasional in the May 5 general election, said he was surprised at the opposition's choice and that the PKR had not offered the candidacy to their own local leaders.
He was commenting on the resignation of Lumut PKR division chief P. Shanmugam and 13 branch chairmen on Saturday, after retired first admiral Mohd Imran Abdul Hamid, filed his nomination papers for the Lumut parliamentary seat.
The retired naval officer, a PAS member, will be contesting under the PKR banner.
Shamugum, 58, said PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and other party top brass should have given the chance to their own party grassroots leaders who had served the constituency in the past years.
Shanmugam claimed he had also forked out RM60,000 for social work in the constituency, adding the local PKR members were also unhappy over the choice of parachute' candidate Mohd Saifullah Mohd Zulkifli for the Pangkor state seat.
Kong admitted he had seen local PKR leaders working on the ground in the last few years.
Meanwhile, he said he and Sitiawan state seat candidate Ting Tai Fook had established “a firm relationship” with their constituents.
“We have been serving the people for many years and we know what they need,” said Kong.
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