Third Force candidate won’t compromise stand for seat

(The Malaysian Insider) MP aspirant Sreekant Pillai said today he will not toe PKR’s pre-conditions in exchange for a ticket in the coming 13th general elections.

“As far as I am concerned, I’m going in as an independent,” the 37-year-old lawyer and son of the late MGG PIllai, a noted journalist, told The Malaysian Insider in response to PKR’s announcement that it will only consider candidates from non-Pakatan Rakyat (PR) groups if they agree to the coalition’s policies.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali had said the party is open to candidates from organisations such as the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) so long as they stick to its policies.

“We can discuss with them. But if they still want to be independent, what’s the point?” the Gombak MP had said of MCLM, which has said they will offer 30 “defection-proof” candidates to PKR.

Sreekant, who is one of the five hopefuls who have been named by MCLM to date, said PKR was entitled to set up its own rules and structures but questioned the sudden introduction of party policy.

If elected, MCLM said that its candidates will decide on issues based on their conscience rather than the coalition’s consensus.

He noted that the other two PR partners had fielded non-member candidates before without any strings attached and named the late Zaitun “Toni” Kassim as an example.

The civil activist had, in 1999, stood in Selayang as an independent candidate on a DAP ticket.

Sreekant said he was not worried that he would lose the chance to contest because of this.

His fellow election candidate hopeful Malik Imtiaz Sarwar declined comment except to say he is “happy that PKR is open to the possibilities. There is much to talk about though.”

The MCLM is understood to have 17 potential candidates to offer to date, with several likely to stand for federal seats in Sarawak.

The outfit’s president, Haris Ibrahim, said he will be announcing a few more names this week.

The MCLM and two Sarawak-based political groups, Snap and United Borneo Front (UBF), are expected to scheduled to hold a joint news conference at its headquarters here tomorrow.

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