THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Barisan Again



Just Call Me Cikgu, Says Parthiban

K. Parthiban, the victorious Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in today's Ijok by-election, says he prefers the people to continue to call him "cikgu" (teacher). "Just call me cikgu. I prefer to be called cikgu. If they want to call me "Yang Berhormat", they can, but I prefer to be called just cikgu," he told reporters in his immediate reaction after being announced as the victor in the fiercely fought by-election.

Parthiban, 38, a former teacher, defeated Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, 61, by a 1,850-vote majority. Parthiban polled 5,884 votes against Khalid's 4,034.
Parthiban secured a higher majority compared to 1,649 by BN's Datuk K. Sivalingam in the last general election in 2004.

Parthiban, who is also Tanjung Karang MIC division secretary, said he would work to honour all promises made by BN to the people in the by-election.

Among the main issues he would strive to resolve are land titles, welfare aid and street lights.
"I will also fulfil my pledges to the constituents to the best of my ability. I will work hard for the people of Ijok," he said.

Parthiban said the BN's victory was a victory to the BN election machinery and the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"We had expected to retain the seat with a bigger majority," he said, expressing his gratitude to every BN component party for their hardwork to ensure his victory.

Asked whether he would end his bachelorhood now that he had become a "Yang Berhormat", to the laughter of his supporters, a grinning Parthiban, said: "I've not given a thought to it yet".

Meanwhile, Khalid, a former corporate figure-turned businessman, said his defeat was not the end of his political career but instead marked the beginning of his active involvement with the opposition. "I will not quit politics," he told reporters at his residence.

Khalid said he learnt a good lesson from the nine-day campaign period, especially on the need to strengthen the support machinery.

"I learned a lot and understood the need to prepare an effective support group for the next general election," he said.

Khalid said he would not shy away if he was offered to contest again in the next general election - Bernama.