Gobind defends decision to pick Ganabatirau over Santiago

Selangor DAP chairman Gobind Singh Deo said he had spoken to former Klang MP Charles Santiago ‘some time ago’ about ‘some issues’.

PETALING JAYA: Selangor DAP chairman Gobind Singh Deo has defended the party’s decision to name V Ganabatirau as the candidate for the Klang parliamentary seat in the 15th general election (GE15).

He said the Kota Kemuning assemblyman had an impressive record as a Selangor executive councillor and was an experienced two-term assemblyman.

“He has dealt with issues on the ground in his area well and to me, he is an exco that can perform,” he told reporters after a DAP fundraising event here.

Gobind said he had also spoken to former Klang MP Charles Santiago “some time ago” and informed him about “some issues” brought to his attention.

“I have talked to Santiago about it and it is not a case where I didn’t speak to him at all,” he said in dismissing a Malaysiakini report that he did not provide Santiago with an explanation of the latter’s supposed shortcomings.

“Suffice for me to say that we (the party) have given him the opportunity to stand in Klang for three terms.”

Gobind added that Santiago was fully aware that there had been requests for him to be replaced since 2013.

Rumours that Santiago would be dropped was met with firm resistance from Klang business groups, NGOs and the area’s residents, who praised Santiago for his community service and hard work – especially during last year’s floods.

Gobind said while there were many who supported Santiago, there were those who did not share the same views.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. We have four seats in Selangor and after 15 years (of his service) there have been requests for us to consider different people and new personalities,” he said.

On a separate note, Gobind welcomed former Bentong MP Wong Tack’s decision to contest as an independent MP.

The party had decided to nominate Young Syefura Othman as a Bentong MP candidate yesterday.

“I wish him (Wong Tack) good luck. He has a right to stand in an election. We have full confidence in the candidate we proposed,” Gobind said.

The party, he said, should now double down and focus on convincing the people to give the mandate to Young Syefura.

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