PSM wants pact with PH to avoid 3-cornered fights

(FMT) – Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) wants an electoral pact with Pakatan Harapan (PH) to avoid opposition votes from being split between the two in the next general election (GE14).

Its sole legislator Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj said the move would prevent the two sides from locking horns with each other, as PSM plans to run in 15 state seats and five parliamentary seats, in the 800-odd constituencies nationwide.

The Sungai Siput MP said cooperating with PSM would help broaden other opposition parties’ appeal as PSM was known to fight for the rights of poor Malaysians regardless of race or religion.

“We have not only been fighting for the rights of estate workers but also for the Malays and others.

“So, we are not insisting on becoming part of Pakatan Harapan, but we want an electoral pact so that we do not split the votes,” he told FMT in response to DAP’s Boo Cheng Hau calling for PH to invite PSM to join the opposition coalition.

Boo, who is Skudai state assemblyman, released a statement yesterday, stating that it was important for the PH leadership to recognise the strength that PSM would bring to the pact, as its members were true down-to-earth grassroots workers and would strengthen PH.

Jeyakumar said the party had in 2012 tried to be a part of Pakatan Rakyat, the precursor to PH which was dissolved in June 2015. He said there had been no further talks on the matter.

He said he hoped the electoral pact would allow PSM candidates to run under the party’s banner and not under someone else’s.

Jeyakumar has been contesting the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat since the 1999 general election. He took on long-time incumbent S Samy Vellu under the DAP banner in 1999 and under PKR in 2004 and 2008.

Jeyakumar ended the MIC president’s tenure in parliament in 2008, and retained his seat in the last general election in 2013, again contesting as a PKR candidate.

Earlier this month, he had said PSM had reached an agreement with PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim that it would be allowed to contest Sungai Siput under its own banner after the 2013 polls.

Meanwhile, PPBM supreme council member Rais Hussin said PSM could write to the PH presidential council to apply to join the pact.

“The council will respond accordingly as its decisions are based on consensus (among components),” he said.

He added that anyone wanting to “save Malaysia” from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) should join hands.

“We need to be together to fight Umno which has money, machinery and manpower.”