One candidate one seat

DAP chairman proposes policy to allow representative to concentrate fully on constituency

(The Malay Mail) – Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders are treading cautiously over calls by DAP chairman Karpal Singh to allow candidates to only contest single seats in the coming general election.

On Tuesday, Karpal said the “one candidate one seat policy” was important as it would allow representatives to put their full attention on one constituency.

Although the policy is meant only for DAP, Karpal said he welcomes PKR and PAS implementing the same measures.

PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang said the single seat policy would not be an issue for the party even though its deputy president Azmin Ali and Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim hold both state and federal seats.

“Most of our leaders in PAS and PKR are already practising this so there is nothing to it. That is our stand. DAP will have to decide,” he told The Malay Mail.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution added Azmin and Abdul Khalid’s allocation of two seats were part of the party’s strategy during the 2008 election.

However, Saifuddin did admit that the party’s political bureau and PR have yet to discuss Karpal’s proposal.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the proposed policy was important because it would give space for new leaders within the party to emerge.

“The single seat policy should not only be implemented in DAP but in PAS and PKR as well. Personally, I support his proposal because in today’s politics, the new political generation is very critical of political parties and establishments.

“We don’t want PR to be seen as a party that is crazy and greedy for positions. We must implement this policy to bring public confidence and support for PR,” he said.

Mahfuz said a state lawmaker must focus on improving the state, and a federal lawmaker must focus on improving the country.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali also said single seat policy has always been PAS’s policy.

“It has been the party’s policy to allocate one seat for one candidate but there have been exceptions due to circumstances. I support Karpal’s call but we cannot adopt the single seat as a permanent party policy because there will be exceptions in the future.

“PAS will not have a problem with this, it’s DAP that has this problem,” he said.

Karpal’s single seat policy would have a major impact as DAP has seven of its leaders holding both parliamentary and state seats.

The seven leaders are Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (Bagan MP, /Air Puteh assemblyman), Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy (Batu Kawan MP/Prai assemblyman and), Penang DAP chief and executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow (Tanjung MP/Padang Kota assemblyman and), Perak DAP chairman Ngeh Koo Ham (Beruas MP/ Sitiawan assemblyman and), Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming (Taiping MP/ Pantai Remis assemblyman), Selangor DAP chief and executive Teresa Kok Suh Sim (Seputeh MP /Kinrara assemblyman) and DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke Siew Fook (Rasah MP / Lobak assemblyman).

DAP deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said the party should seriously consider implementing the single seat policy.

“We are already participating in governments in Kedah, Selangor and Penang so many people would be vying for seats. So it must be seriously considered to avoid discontent and dissension among party members. It would also increase the participation of new leaders in the party.

“DAP will look into this soon and make a decision.”