||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
|Member of the Malaysian Parliament
March 8, 2008
|Preceded by||Tan Sri K. S. Nijhar|
|Born||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
|Political party||PKR - Pakatan Rakyat|
|Occupation|| Member of Parliament
Sivarasa Rasiah (Tamil: சிவராசா ராசையா),or also known as R.Sivarasa is a prominent Malaysian politician, lawyer and human rights activist. He is co-founder of Suara Rakyat Malaysia or Suaram (a human rights NGO) and vice-president of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party). In the 2008 general election, Sivarasa was elected as the Member of Parliament for Subang, defeating his opponent by a 6,000 vote majority.
Reminiscing on his early days in an interview with the New Straits Times, Siva said, "I was trying to get into medicine after high school in Victoria Institution but didn't make the grade. Form Five was great but I guess in Form Six, there were many distractions. So instead I went into genetics in Universiti Malaya and graduated with first class honours. Six months into my Master’s I realised that this was not my cup of tea and was already looking at other options.”
He then applied for a Rhodes scholarship to pursue law at Oxford University. After completing his law degree and the Bar in Britain, Siva took a year off and went to Germany where he spent most of his time in libraries there reading. He worked for a bit after that in London before returning to Malaysia on his 30th birthday.
Activism and politics
It was while he was in the United Kingdom that he got interested in human rights and “became involved with union workers and stuff like that there”.
His first involvement with an NGO was in 1997 when he got involved with a women's group called Citizens Against Rape. Siva got arrested twice during the 1998 Reformasi period but shrugs it off as part and parcel of the job. He later joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
He is married to Ann James, a prominent personality in the Malaysian theatre scene. Incidentally, he met his wife at a demonstration as well. "It was during Operasi Lalang and she was there too. We were kind off thrown together and that's when it all happened. After a long courtship, we finally got married in 1993," he revealed in the NST interview.
Although Sivarasa has had brushes with the police, both his father and his older brother were members of the force. His father was the registrar of the police force and his older brother was a senior police officer.
This lawyer-cum-politician is a cancer survivor who lost his voice for almost a year due to thyroid cancer which damaged a nerve on his vocal cords. He had to speak with a little boom box and a speaker for a while due to this. Currently he has regained his voice but he says, “I can't sing or shout, but at least I still can talk.”
He is also an avid guitar player.
|2004||P105 PJ Selatan, Selangor||Sivarasa A/L K. Rasiah (PKR)||13,638||28%||Donald Lim Siang Chai (MCA)||35,054||72%|
|2008||P107 Subang, Selangor||Sivarasa A/L K. Rasiah (PKR)||35,024||53%||Murugesan A/L Sinnandavar (MIC)||28,315||43%|
|2013||Sivarasa A/L K. Rasiah (PKR)||66,268||58.65%||Pakas Rao A/L Applanaidoo (MIC)||39,549||35.00%||Edros Abdullah (Ind)
Mohamad Ismail (BERJASA)
Nazaruddin Mohd Ferdoos (Ind)
- "Sivarasa Wins!". Retrieved 2008-03-08.
- "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen 2013" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 6 May 2013.