This GE13, incumbent 3-term MP of Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan is not standing for re-election, making way for ex-ADUN of Tronoh, V Sivakumar, to stand instead. That the state constituency of Tronoh is one of 3 (the other 2 being Menglembu and Jelapang) within parliamentary constituency of Batu Gajah, means Sivakumar is already well known locally. That he was the Pakatan Speaker of Perak who was manhandled and dragged (while still in his official robe) in the process of BN's power grab, meant he is also well known nationally.
We have met him several times before the date of GE 13 was known, during his morning walkabouts. He is friendly and approachable. Now that he is standing for parliamentary seat, he has to cover Menglembu and Jelapang as well.
Sivakumar will be facing a locally unknown BN MCA's candidate, Loo Thin Tuck.
In the case of parliamentary seat of Ipoh Timur, DAP's advisor, Lim Kit Siang's move to Gelang Patah, Johor has created a vacuum. Fortunately, a 'heavy weight' is being replaced by another heavy weight in ex-ADUN of Pasir Pinji, Thomas Su Keong Siong. That Pasir Pinji, is part of Ipoh Timur means Thomas is already well known in this part of Ipoh, if not nationally, again thanks to the national publicity as a result of the infamous power grab. He was then an Exco member in the Pakatan state government.
Thomas will be facing BN MCA's Kathleen Wong Mei Yin, a relatively unknown, and a first-timer.
There were accusations against Lim Kit Siang for not looking after his constituents. But I can vouch for his presence in most gatherings, unless the people expect him to be looking after blocked drains and uncleared rubbish in their neighbourhood. Thomas Su and other ex-ADUNs within Ipoh Timur, like Wong Kah Woh (Canning) and Ong Boon Piow (Tebing Tinggi) had been great in solving problems locally. Both Wong and Ong are defending their seats.
Thomas's former state constituency of Pasir Pinji is contested by a first-timer, Howard Lee Chuan How. His opponent is better known BN MCA's Thong Fah Chong, a former MP of Ipoh Timur (he lost to Lim Kit Siang in 2008). Sivakumar's former Tronoh is also contested by newbie in Paul Yong Choo Kiong, whose opponent is MCA's Yip Sze Choy, who is better known locally because of his furniture business in BG.
My gut feeling tells me that the winds of change and the expected Perakians' eagerness to teach Najib a lesson for his power grab will see all the above Pakatan candidates through on May 5.