KUALA LUMPUR: Independent candidate for the Batu constituency Tian Chua says he had received many calls asking him to withdraw from the election so he could be awarded a senatorship if PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes prime minister.

However, he said he did not want to start an unhealthy political culture in Pakatan Harapan, where obedient members or friends would be awarded high-ranking positions.

“My decision to contest as an Independent is based on principle and not for political gain,” the former PKR vice-president said.

He said he decided to contest to show his dedication to his former Batu constituents. He was the Batu MP from 2008 but was disqualified from contesting in the last elections in 2018.

“Being a politician is not just about seeking positions, it is about being able to gain the people’s support while maintaining core values and dignity,” he told a press conference at his election office here yesterday.

Chua also made it clear he remains dedicated to supporting Pakatan’s agenda and Anwar as prime minister.

“My Batu constituents want to see Anwar become prime minister and their wishes are mine, too. I have a close relationship with Anwar whom I have known for a long time,” he said, denying claims that he was trying to sabotage Pakatan.

Chua said the Pakatan candidate P. Prabakaran, who also won in 2018, should focus on developing his own manifesto for the people of Batu to differentiate himself from Chua.

“The people of Batu want someone who can identify and present the issues faced by the people even if Pakatan loses in GE15,” he said.