KUALA LUMPUR: “I will not back down,” said eight-term Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw when asked if he would continue to defend the seat in the coming 14th General Election.
Tan, a DAP member since 1979, has been representing the parliamentary constituency since 1982.
“Donald Trump became the President of the United States at the age of 75, and Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad), at 92, is Pakatan Harapan chairman,” the skin specialist told Bernama.
Dr Tan, who will celebrate his 76th birthday on May 24, said: “There are those who say that people at my age should be hospitalised, should be at home, no need to care about politics. Enough with eight terms, go retire, they tell me.
“I don’t care what they say about me, I’m still strong and able to help the people. People still come to see me as their elected representative and they still believe in me,” he said, dismissing a claim that he was among those who would be dropped from the DAP line-up of candidates to give way to new faces.
The Selangor DAP chairman for five years, from 1982 to 1987, however, said: “It’s up to the party leadership whether to choose me or not.
“I’m still working as usual and still interested in defending the Kepong parliamentary seat,” said the Kota Baru-born who got involved in politics at the age of 34 by joining Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia (Pekemas) in 1976.
He was first fielded as a candidate in a general election for the Kepong seat in 1978 on a Pekemas ticket, but he lost in a four-cornered fight. Datuk Tan Tiong Hong of Gerakan won the seat with a majority of 2,228 votes.
Dr Tan, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice-chairman who had served as a physician in the army for a year in 1971, said that during GE13, he faced a similar fate where rumours had been flying around that his name would be dropped but eventually he was still given the mandate by his party to defend the Kepong seat.
Dr Tan retained the seat with a majority of 40,307 votes, beating two challengers, Chandrakumanan Arumugam of PPP and independent Yee Poh Ping.
“We cannot predict what will happen. Now I am still able to continue the struggle in the Kepong parliamentary constituency,” he said.
Dr Tan said he always adhered to the principle of “berani kerana benar” (one is bold when right) and, as a representative of the people or a leader, any statement issued had to be supported by evidence and not just empty talk.
“I always speak the truth. Whatever I’m going to say, I will make it factual and with evidence, not making blind accusations simply for self-interest,” he said.
Because of these principles, he said, he had always been receiving support from the voters in his constituency. - Bernama