DAP, PSM head for standoff over Jelapang

DAP secretary-general S Arutchelvan refutes Perak DAP’s ‘PSM spoiler’ claim and insist on contesting in the Perak state seat.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and DAP look set to head for a clash over the Jelapang state seat in Perak with both parties not willing to compomise on their interest in the seat for the next general election.

PSM first expressed its interest to contest in the state seat on Friday but that was immediately rejected by DAP yesterday.

Today, PSM secretary general S Arutchelvan expressed his disappointment with Perak DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham over his strong stand in not willing to give the Jelapang seat to PSM.

He was also upset by Ngeh labelling the PSM as being spoilers for wanting to contest in the seat.

“PSM can only be spoilers if we put candidates in all Pakatan Rakyat areas, but we are only asking for one (state) seat in Perak where DAP (candidate) ran away.

“How can we be spoilers?” Arutchelvan asked.

In 2008, DAP rep Hee Yit Foong won the seat in a three-cornered fight which saw PSM’s M Sarasvathy losing her deposit. Hee subsequently quit the party to become a BN-friendly independent, leading to the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in 2009.

PSM is now saying that Sarasvathy stands a strong chance to trounce any Barisan Nasional candidate following the work she has done on the ground since 2008.

Ngeh however had rebuffed this by stating that although Hee had defected, the voters in Jelapang – almost 90% are Chinese- were still with the DAP.

“The people of Jelapang did not reject DAP, they only rejected the candidate,” he told FMT yesterday.

“How can PSM ask for a DAP winning seat? I hope PSM would not become spoilers (in the coming general election),” said Ngeh, who is also Bruas MP and Sitiawan state assemblyman.