Kuala Lumpur – “Makkal Osai” Tamil daily’s publication on 29th of November 2016 carried a news on the Deepavali open house hosted by MIC Cameron Highlands division leader Datuk Singamuthu, together with a photograph of MIC leaders who attended the function. The leaders appearing in the photograph included MIC Women leader Mohana Muniandy and Datuk S.Sothinathan, who recently returned to the party with some 600 MIC branches.
During ordinary times, that news would have been easily by-passed as one of the several MIC news that appear in Tamil dailies. However, Sothinathan’s presence in Cameron Highlands has further fueled speculations already prevailing in MIC now, that he would be fielded as MIC’s choice in Cameron Highlands replacing former MIC President Datuk Seri G.Palanivel.
The news on Deepavali open house function held by Camerion Highlands MIC Division leader Datuk Singamuthu – as it appeared in Makkal Osai Tamil daily on 29 November 2016….
MIC sources said Sothinathan is considered for Cameron Highlands as he has several advantages. First it is said to be based on the peace-formula reached between MIC President Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam and Sothinathan that those leaders from Palanivel’s faction returning to MIC should be considered as candidates for Pariliament and State Assembly seats.
By fielding Sothinathan in Camerons the MIC leadership is also hoping that there will not be any backlash from current MP Palanivel as Sothinathan was his de-facto number two in their pursuit to capture the leadership of MIC.
Sothinathan is also said to be a perfect fit of a winnable BN candidate, envisaged by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as he has extensive experience as party’s Vice Preisident, Secretary General, former member of Parliament and former Deputy Minister. Furthermore, he has a very impressive list of educational credentials.
Having graduated from University Malaya in the field of Economics with a first class degree, he obtained his Masters’ degree from an Australian University. Later, he pursued a law degree and is currently practicing as an advocate and Solicitor in Kuala Lumpur but he still resides in Port Dickson, once his Parliamentary Constituency.
Another notable advantage of Sothinathan as a candidate for Cameron Highlands is his vast ‘family and relative’ connections in Cameron Highlands.
Among the potential aspirants in MIC for parliament seats, Sothinathan is said to be the best bet to retain the Camerons seat, not forgetting that MIC’s Palanivel won with only 400 odd votes in 2013.
Results of Cameron Highlands Parliament constituency in 2013
Sothinathan’s close supporters claim, given a choice, Sothi would love to return to Teluk Kemang parliament constituency in Negeri Sembilan. It is not only his home town but also the constituency that catapulted him to national prominence in 2000 when he contested in a by-election which was held due to the sudden death of S.A.Anbalagan, who was then the MP and also serving as the Parliamentary secretary.
However, Sothinathan failed to win the seat in 2008 general election losing it to PKR-Pakatan Rakyat alliance. In 2013 he was not chosen by then MIC President Palanivel to contest in Teluk Kemang again although Sothinathan’s supporters held demonstrations in support of Sothinathan candidature.
The MIC candidate for Teluk Kemang in 2013 was Datuk V.S.Mohan, who lost again to the PKR candidate.
Speculations are also rife that the Teluk Kemang parliament seat would be contested by UMNO in GE-14 expected to be held next year. MIC would be either given a replacement elsewhere or may have to simply give up the seat in line with the proposed new BN formula of fielding winnable candidates.
Even if MIC is allocated Teluk Kemang again the party’s choice is expected to be Datuk V.S.Mohan again as he is the familiar candidate who fought in the constituency in 2013. Mohan is currently the national Information Chief of MIC.