M. Kulasegaran

M. Kula Segaran s/o V. Murugeson (Tamil: மு.குலசேகரன், romanized: Mu.Kulacēkaraṉ; born 10 August 1957), commonly referred to as Kula, is a Malaysian politician and barrister who served as the Minister of Human Resources in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration under former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad from May 2018 to the collapse of the PH administration in February 2020. He has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ipoh Barat since March 2004 and Teluk Intan from May 1997 to November 1999. He is a member and vice-chairman of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a component party of the PH opposition coalition.[1][2]

M. Kula Segaran
Minister of Human Resources
In office
21 May 2018  24 February 2020
MonarchsMuhammad V
Prime MinisterMahathir Mohamad
DeputyMahfuz Omar
Preceded byRichard Riot Jaem
Succeeded bySaravanan Murugan
ConstituencyIpoh Barat
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Ipoh Barat
Assumed office
21 March 2004
Preceded byHo Cheong Sing
Majority598 (2004)
15,534 (2008)
29,038 (2013)
45,724 (2018)
56,667 (2022)
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Telok Intan
In office
17 May 1997  29 November 1999
Preceded byOng Tin Kim
Succeeded byMah Siew Keong
Majority2,916 (1997)
Personal details
M. Kula Segaran s/o V. Murugeson

(1957-08-10) 10 August 1957
Sitiawan, Perak, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Political partyDemocratic Action Party (Malaysia) (DAP)
Other political
Pakatan Harapan (PH)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR)
Barisan Alternatif (BA)
SpouseJayalachimi Kanapathy
OccupationPolitician, barrister
M. Kulasegaran on Facebook
M. Kulasegaran on Parliament of Malaysia

Early life and education

M. Kula Segaran was born to a rubber tapper father in an estate in Sitiawan, Perak.[3] Growing up, he and his brother had to look after cows, goats and also clean up the containers used to gather latex after school.[3] In 1982, he was admitted as barrister at Lincoln's Inn in London.[3]

Political career

Kula Segaran, is an ethnic Tamil and a barrister by profession who joins the DAP, has voiced many issues affecting the Malaysian Indian community. He has claimed that "Indians are treated like third-class citizens"[4] and also criticised the demolition of Hindu temples in the country.[5]

Member of Parliament

He was first elected to Parliament in a 1997 by-election for the seat of Telok Intan as DAP candidate. He shifted to the seat of Ipoh Barat at the 1999 general election, but lost. He re-contested the seat in the 2004 election, and this time won by a narrow margin. He was re-elected by wider margins in subsequent 2008 election, 2013 election and 2018 election.[6]

Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)

Kula was made chairman of the Malaysian chapter of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) in 2019. He is also an executive board member of the group. In that capacity he has been advocating the need for Malaysia to ratify the Rome Statute to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to call for the Abolishment of the Mandatory Death Penalty and the ratification of The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Minister of Human Resources

After the Pakatan Harapan coalition of which the DAP is part of, emerged victorious in the 2018 general election to forming the Federal Government, new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad appointed Kula Segaran's as the Minister of Human Resources in May 2018. He sparked interest on social media for wearing thallapa during swearing-in ceremony as a minister.[7]

Kula is the first Human Resources Minister to conduct the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), a tripartite stakeholders meeting, 10 times in a year (2019) . The government, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) are stakeholders in the NLAC. Kula also made international headlines for declaring War on Human Trafficking in Malaysia after acknowledging that the country had been hurting from it.[8] The Minister held Townhall sessions with employers urging them to start being more accountable and to assist the government in eradicating Forced Labour. Kula urged employers to start incorporating Social Compliance Audit reports as part of their accountability.[9] The Minister wants to move up from being at Tier 2 Watchlist of the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons report and is working closely with stakeholders to achieve this. He has overseen several law amendments to better protect against discrimination as well as enhancing worker's rights and social protection.[10] Kula has also championed the rights of the Orang Asli community as provided them a pathway to learn technical skills through Institutes under the Ministry.[11] 17 Orang Asli students were enrolled in ILP Ipoh in 2020 following the 7 enrolled in 2019 after the encouragement of the Minister.[12] As outlines in Kula's 2019 achievements as Minister, most notably was Empowering TVET learning to prepare for future jobs and emerging technologies that are shaping the industries of the future.[13]


In 2007, Kula Segaran was suspended from Parliament for four days for disobeying the Deputy Speaker,[14] and in 2008 he was called a "bastard" and a "bloody bastard" by a government politician whom he accused of being "hated" by Indian constituents.[15]

During a visit to an event in 2018, he caused a controversy when he claimed that the Malay people are the immigrants of Malay Peninsula while the real natives were the Indians. After an uproar, he later apologized and retracted his remarks.[16]

Less than a year later during 2019 Rantau by-election, he was criticized for his speech urging Indian voters to vote for the Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr. Streram Sinnasamy due to him being from the same community as they are. He also claimed that the Indian community would never approach non-Indian ministers to resolve their problems and admitted his preference to eat at Indian restaurants when he visited Rantau.[17]

Election results

Parliament of Malaysia[18][19][20][21]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1997 Telok Intan M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 15,007 55% Chee See Choke (Gerakan) 12,091 45% 27,639 2,916 53.67%
1999 P62 Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 21,477 45.84% Ho Cheong Sing (MCA) 25,155 53.70% 48,696 3,678 68.24%
Jaga N. Nathan (MDP) 215 0.46%
2004 P65 Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 22,935 50.66% Ho Cheong Sing (MCA) 22,337 49.34% 46,768 598 68.38%
2008 M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 32,576 65.65% Yik Phooi Hong (MCA) 17,042 34.35% 50,641 15,534 72.58%
2013 M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 45,420 73.21% Cheng Wei Yee (MCA) 16,382 26.41% 63,074 29,038 81.11%
Kalwant Singh Sujan Singh (IND) 235 0.38%
2018 M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 55,613 83.78% Cheng Wei Yee (MCA) 9,889 16.22% 66,380 45,724 78.21%
2022 M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 63,915 81.57% Low Guo Nan (MCA) 7,248 9.25% 79,312 56,667 69.20%
Chek Kwong Weng (GERAKAN) 6,815 8.70%
M. Kayveas (Independent) 378 0.48%
Perak State Legislative Assembly[22]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 Taman Canning M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 8,005 41.47% Hiew Yew Can (MCA) 10,718 55.52% 19,305 2,713 69.51%
1999 Buntong M. Kulasegaran (DAP) 8,974 39.76% Yik Phooi Hong (MCA) 13,001 57.60% 22,573 4,027 66.41%


  1. "M. Kula Segaran, Y.B. Tuan" (in Malay). Parliament of Malaysia. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  2. "DAP: Leadership". Democratic Action Party. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
  3. Ivan Loh (10 June 2018). "From the rubber estate to Putrajaya". The Star Online. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  4. "Malaysian police break up rally". BBC News. 25 November 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  5. "Motion on temple rejected". The Star (Malaysia). 2 November 2007. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  6. "MP's law firm burgled". The Star (Malaysia). 31 March 2004. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  7. "Why did Kulasegaran wear a turban to the Cabinet swearing-in ceremony? | New Straits Times". 22 May 2018.
  8. Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 11:57 AM MYT Thasha Jayamanogaran. "Kulasegaran to declare war on forced labour and human trafficking | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  9. "No compromise on social compliance audit report — Kula Segaran". Borneo Post Online. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  10. Peters, Watson (25 October 2019). "Kula must be doing something right". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  11. Bernama (25 January 2020). "Kula: HR Ministry committed to bring change to 'marginalised' Orang Asli". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  12. Saturday, 01 Feb 2020 02:36 PM MYT. "17 Orang Asli students enrol in skills training at ILP Ipoh | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  13. Saturday, 18 Jan 2020 08:05 PM MYT. "Empowering TVET among priorities of HR Ministry | Malay Mail". www.malaymail.com. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  14. "4-day suspension for MP Kulasegaran". The Star (Malaysia). 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  15. "Tajuddin uses 'b*****d' on Kulasegaran". Asia One. 6 November 2008. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  16. Nor Afzan Mohamad Yusof (30 July 2018). "Kulasegaran mohon maaf". Harian Metro (in Malay). Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  17. "Kula Segaran Justifies His Racist Speech". Malaysia Today. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  18. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  19. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  20. "Malaysia Decides 2008". The Star (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  21. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  22. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM KE-12". semak.spr.gov.my. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
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