By YIP YOKE TENG firstname.lastname@example.org
Selangor is gripped with suspense as bigwigs battle it out, and 55 independent candidates crop up to slice the already thin majority in many seats.
Almost half of the 22 parliamentary and 56 state seats in Selangor see more than two candidates contesting.
Kapar parliamentary seat is fought by six candidates, involving Sakthivel Alagappan from BN-MIC, PKR’s Manivannan Gowindasamy, Mohd Pathan Hussin from Berjasa and three other independents.
Incumbent Kapar MP Manikava-sagam Sundram from PKR has steered his path to the Bukit Mela-wati state seat, locking horns with BN-Umno’s Jakiran Jacomah, who was an aide to former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Abu Hassan Omar.
PKR won with only a 297-vote majority in the previous polls, making it a sizzling seat.
The state seats of Kajang and Kota Damansara are also contested by six candidates each.
A close fight is expected in Kajang between BN-MCA’s Lee Ban Seng and newcomer Lee Chin Cheh from PKR, amid the challenges thrown in by the four independent candidates.
Kota Damansara gained much attention with PAS’ Ridzuan Ismail entering the fray at the last minute even though PSM had made a compromise to contest under the PKR logo after a long negotiation.
Also in the fight is BN-Umno’s new face, Halimaton Saadiah Bohan, and three other independent candidates.
Semenyih sees the Pakatan pact crossing swords as both PKR’s Hamidi Hassan and PSM’s Arut-chelvan Subramaniam are fielded.
Five-cornered fights are seen in the Subang parliamentary seat and in the Taman Medan, Kuala Kubu Baharu, Seri Andalas and Teratai state seats.
In Kuala Kubu Bahru, the entry of three independents is believed to pose a greater challenge to BN-MCA candidate Ooi Hui Wen, who is taking on Lee Kee Hiong of DAP.
Tension stretches in Teratai as incumbent Jenice Lee goes in as an Independant against BN-Gerakan’s Ben Liew and DAP’s Tiew Way Keng.
Petaling Jaya Selatan is crowded, too, with 12 candidates vying for three seats.
Veteran politician Yap Pian Hon of BN-MCA is taking on up-and-coming DAP star Dr Ong Kian Ming in Serdang in a closely watched match as incumbent Teo Nie Cheng heads to Kulai in Johor.
Morib and Teluk Datuk are interesting, too.
Morib incumbent BN-Umno’s Hasiman Sidom, who won with a slim 286-vote majority in 2008, is fighting for the third term, squaring off with PAS’ Hasnul Baharuddin who makes a comeback after his defeat in the 2004 polls.
Teluk Datuk, which was clinched by DAP with a mere 638-vote majority, will be defended by newcomer Loh Chee Heng against Tan Cheng Chai of BN-MCA.
Independent candidate Hamzah Abu Bakar has made it a three-cornered fight in the Chinese-majority constituency.
Selangor Umno deputy chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar and Selangor Barisan coordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed will defend their parliamentary seats Tanjong Karang and Sepang respectively.
Selangor MCA chief Datuk Donald Lim, meanwhile, is in a major battle to wrest the Selayang seat from PKR incumbent William Leong.
It will be a fight between women in Ampang as PKR women’s wing chief Zuraida Kamaruddin squares off against Rozaidah Talib.
Over in Puchong, Gobind Singh of DAP is facing a new challenger from Barisan — A. Kohilan Pillay, who is Gerakan vice-president.
Over at the Paya Jaras state seat, Datuk Muhammad Bushro Mat Johor from BN-Umno will defend his seat against Mohd Khairuddin Othman of PAS.
Khalid Abdul Samad is in a straight fight against Zulkifli Noordin for
the Shah Alam seat.
Another interesting battle is for the Bukit Melawati state seat, where S. Manikavasagam of PKR will square off against Jakiran Jacomah.
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