Sasindran Muthuvel on Verge of being PNG’s First Indian MP
Last month I wrote a wrote a piece on Malaysian-Chinese migrant Simon Sia, and the possibility of Sia becoming Papua New Guinea’s first Asian-born Member of Parliament.
Sia, owner of Goroka-based Bintangor group of companies and exclusive sponsor of rugby-league team Goroka Lahanis, stands a good chance in winning the Eastern Highlands Provincial seat.
But he’s not the only interesting naturalized citizen contesting the 2012 National Election.
In West New Britain (WNB), Sasindran Muthuvel, an ethnic Indian and naturalized PNG citizen, is also hoping to become governor of his province. And if successful, Muthuvel will become PNG’s first Indian MP.
Muthuvel is standing under Joseph Lelang’s Coalition Reform Party, a newly registered political party concentrating its efforts in West New Britain, and hoping to win up to 3 seats from the 15 candidates it endorsed.
Most Papua New Guineans would know very little of Sasindran Muthuvel, but he is quite well-known in WNB thanks to his retail trading business, Hamamas Trading Ltd, which employs around 150 people and turns over approximately US$3.75 million per annum.
And his popularity is significant, with Count 29 of the West New Britain Provincial seat showing that Muthuvel had polled 11,465 votes – in front of Independent Chris Lagisa on 8348 votes, People’s United Assembly Party’s Camillus Vovore on 6825 votes, People’s Progress Party’s Peter Arul on 6336 votes – and well ahead of incumbent and Triumph Heritage Empowerment Party candidate Peter Humphreys on 5065 votes.
With counting now heading into the elimination round with second and third preference votes, Muthuvel stands an extremely good chance of picking up enough votes from those candidates below him to help push him over the required 50% + 1 threshold.
PNG could very well be looking at our first Indian-born, raised and educated Member of Parliament.