Pakatan bars leaders from PSM function

(NST) – IPOH: THE Jelapang state constituency in Perak is set to drive a wedge between Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and fellow Pakatan Rakyat (PR) members with PR upping the ante by barring its leaders from attending functions organised by PSM.

Sources told the New Straits Times that Perak PR had, during a meeting on Friday, decided that its leaders would not attend a ceramah tomorrow which is organised by PSM at Taman Pertama. Pas deputy president Mohamad Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, was to be the main speaker.

“Former Perak menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had been tasked to talk to Mat Sabu to persuade him not to attend the ceramah,” said the source.

This is not the first time Perak DAP had tried to frustrate programmes organised by PSM.

Previously, state DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham had sent a blanket text message to all party representatives, barring them from attending a similar ceramah organised by PSM in Jelapang on July 13.

PSM and DAP are locked in a tussle over the Jelapang seat, which is being held by Barisan Nasional-friendly independent, Datuk Hee Yit Foong. PSM had previously said it would not back down from contesting in the constituency against Barisan Nasional.

PSM secretary-general S. Arutchelvan (photo above) labelled PR as childish for the move.

“I can assure you that the stand made by PR is not shared by its counterpart from other states, as we just jointly organised a Hari Raya open house at Kota Damansara.”

Arutchelvan reminded DAP that negotiation for the Jelapang seat was still ongoing and nothing had finalised yet.

“Ngeh should not be jumping to conclusions,” he added, warning DAP to stop antagonising PSM.

Perak PKR vice-chairman Chang Lih Kang declined to comment on the meeting, while Nizar and Ngeh could not be reached.

During the 2008 general election, Jelapang saw a three-cornered fight between BN, DAP and PSM.

PSM’s national deputy chairman M. Saraswathy received 1,275 votes against BN’s Loh Koi Pin (5,512 votes) and Hee, who won by a landslide of 12,219 votes.