By Jerry Choong
SHAH ALAM, Nov 16 — Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat in Kedah for the ongoing 15th general election (GE15), M. Karupaiya, has passed away aged 69, said the coalition’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
The candidate’s sudden and unexpected passing comes less than three days before GE15’s polling day, which will take place on Saturday (November 19).
“It is with regret and sadness that I inform M. Karupaiya, the former Padang Serai MP and Harapan’s candidate for the P017 Padang Serai parliamentary seat has passed away today.
“The last time we met was on November 14, on the ceramah stage at Kulim (in Kedah). The late Karupaiya made a brief speech and we managed to raise hands with one another after the speech by Harapan chairman (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim),” he said in a statement.
Saifuddin said the late Karupaiya was a former Warrant Officer 1 of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), as well as the Parti Keadilan Rakyat Padang Serai division head.
“On behalf of the wider Keadilan family as well as Harapan, I extend my deepest condolences to the family members of the late Karupaiya. His passing is a major loss to the party and the Reformation struggle.
“His service in the Parliament, to the residents of Padang Serai and the party division there, as well as to the MAF, especially for veterans, will always be remembered,” he said.
Saifuddin commended the effort and hard work that Karupaiya carried out as both an MP and a party member.
“He passed away in the struggle to uphold justice for a better Malaysia. This spirit will be continued by Keadilan fighters and Harapan in the ongoing GE15,” he said.
When contacted by Selangor Journal, Saifuddin, who is also Keadilan secretary-general, said he has instructed party lawyers and the candidate’s representative to furnish the Election Commission (EC) Returning Officer with Karupaiya’s death certificate.
“The certificate must be sent to the Secretary of EC Kedah. This matter is also related to Article Six of the Election Regulations 1981, which states the election writ has to be cancelled and a new one issued for P017 Padang Serai,” he said.
Speaking to Selangor Journal, Karupaiya’s son K. Sathiasilan said his father passed away peacefully at 2.20pm today, surrounded by family members. He had been undergoing a pre-existing heart condition for an undisclosed number of years.
The late MP first won Padang Serai during the 14th general election in 2018, taking over from his predecessor N. Surendran and ensuring the seat remained a Harapan stronghold. He leaves behind his wife, three children and three grandchildren.