'If I win, it will be a victory for truth and transparency' — Manogaran

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 4): "If I win, it will be a victory for truth, transparency and fairness,” said Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Cameron Highlands' Parliamentary by-election M. Manogaran.

The Pahang DAP deputy chairman, who will return as DAP's candidate for the Cameron Highlands’ Parliamentary by-election to be held on Jan 26, hopes to see a clean and fair fight among all the contestants.

"I want this (election) to be a trendsetter, that from now onwards the universal suffrage, democratic exercises will be done without fear and favour and importantly without money politics," he said when met after his candidacy was announced at the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting's press conference here, today.

When asked on his optimism of achieving a big majority compared with the 14th General Election (GE14) outcome where he lost to Datuk C. Sivarraajh of Barisan Nasional (BN) by a slim margin, Manogaran said he would prefer not to be over confident.

"I do not want be so over confident, I just hope to win. This win is not like my win. If I win, it will be a victory for truth, transparency and fairness," he said.

The Election Court had, on Nov 30 last year, annulled the GE14 victory of Datuk C. Sivarraajh of Barisan Nasional after establishing there had been vote-buying during the election campaign.

Manogaran had filed a petition seeking a declaration to annul the election of Sivarraajh of the MIC, citing the offence under the Election Offences Act 1954.

On Dec 28, the Election Commission announced that Sivarraajh, an MIC vice-president, was ineligible to contest the by-election.

In GE14, Sivarraajh had secured 10,307 votes to win by a majority of 597 votes in a five-cornered contest. Manogaran had polled 9,710 votes; Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud of PAS, 3,587 votes; Mohd Tahir Kassim of Berjasa, 81 votes and B. Suresh Kumar of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), 680 votes.

Nomination for the by-election is on Jan 12, early voting on Jan 22 and polling on Jan 26.

Manogaran also gave his assurance that there will not be any vote buying during the election process.

"I actually have indicated to them (Barisan Nasional) not to repeat the mistake they made the last time.

"Nevertheless my people on the ground will be the eyes and ears, to see whether any corrupt practices have been committed by them.....not only them, corruption from my side that we also need to be very careful of. Do not indulge in money politics. We will be watching, not only the other side but our side as well," he added.