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Sivarasa s/o Rasiah (Tamil: சிவராசா ராசையா, romanized: Civarācā rācaiyā; born 8 December 1956), or also known as R.Sivarasa is a prominent Malaysian politician, lawyer and human rights activist of Ceylonese/Sri Lankan descent. He is co-founder of Suara Rakyat Malaysia or SUARAM, a human rights NGO[1] and former vice-president of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or People's Justice Party.[2] Sivarasa is the incumbent Member of Parliament for Sungai Buloh (constituency created from Subang in 2018 redelineation), Selangor.

Sivarasa Rasiah

சிவராசா ராசையா
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Sungai Buloh (earlier Subang)
Assumed office
8 March 2008
Preceded byK. S. Nijhar (MIC-BN)
Majority6,709 (2008)
26,719 (2013)
26,634 (2018)
Deputy Minister of Rural Development of Malaysia
Assumed office
2 July 2018
MonarchMuhammad V
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyRina Harun
Preceded byAlexander Nanta Linggi and Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub
Personal details
Sivarasa s/o Rasiah

(1956-12-08) 8 December 1956 (age 62)
Selangor, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyPKR
Other political
Pakatan Harapan
Spouse(s)Anne James
Alma materUniversity of Malaya
University of Oxford
OccupationPolitician, lawyer

Early lifeEdit

Though today he may be one of the top lawyers in Kuala Lumpur, Siva's first degree was actually in genetics.

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 politicsEdit

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 PKR.

In the 2008 general election, Sivarasa was elected as the Member of Parliament for Subang, defeating his opponent by a 6,000 vote majority;[3] he went on to keep the seat in the 2013 general election.

In the 2018 general election, Sivarasa was reelected for his parliamentary seat which was renamed as Sungai Buloh in an earlier redelineation exercise.

Sivarasa was appointed Deputy Minister of Rural Development of Malaysia and sworn in on 2 July 2018 in the presence of His Majesty the Yang di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Ann James, a personality in the Malaysian theatre scene. He met his wife at a demonstration as well. "It was during Operasi Lalang and she was there too. We were kind of 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. 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.

Election resultsEdit

Parliament of Malaysia[5][6][7]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1999 P92 Ampang Jaya, Selangor Sivarasa K. Rasiah (PKR) 32,902 44.72% Ong Tee Keat (MCA) 40,669 55.28% 74,869 7,767 75.98%
2004 P105 Petaling Jaya Selatan, Selangor Sivarasa K. Rasiah (PKR) 13,638 27.42% Donald Lim Siang Chai (MCA) 35,054 70.48% 49,738 21,416 67.67%
2008 P107 Subang, Selangor Sivarasa K. Rasiah (PKR) 35,024 53.18% Murugesan Sinnandavar (MIC) 28,315 42.99% 65,861 6,709 78.02%
2013 Sivarasa K. Rasiah (PKR) 66,268 58.65% Pakas Rao Applanaidoo (MIC) 39,549 35.00% 112,937 26,719 87.86%
Mohamad Ismail (BERJASA) 4,454 3.94%
Nazaruddin Mohd Ferdoos (IND) 460 0.41%
Edros Abdullah (IND) 218 0.19%
2018 P107 Sungai Buloh, Selangor Sivarasa K. Rasiah (PKR) 43,631 55.97% Pakas Rao Applanaidoo (MIC) 16,681 21.40% 77,951 26,634 85.93%
Nuridah Mohd Salleh (PAS) 16,997 21.80%
Zainurizzaman bin Moharam (PRM) 642 0.82%

See allEdit


  1. ^ "Sivarasa Rasiah is a prominent Malaysian politician, lawyer and human rights activist. He is currently the Member of Parliament for Subang". Rahul SK. Malaysian Representatives Alpha. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  2. ^ "ACA questions PKR's Sivarasa on damning video clip". The Sun Daily. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Sivarasa Wins!". Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Malaysia swears in 13 ministers and 23 deputy ministers". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen 2013" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 6 May 2013.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum 13 Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri 2013". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 May 2016.