Pakatan Harapan is Barisan Nasional 2.0, says PSM

(Malaysiakini) – PSM central committee member S Arutchelvan has claimed that Pakatan Harapan has become “Barisan Nasional 2.0”.

In a press conference today, he described the fight between BN and Harapan in the March 2 Semenyih by-election as “BN1.0 vs BN2.0”.

“The voters were always asked to look at big picture – (mainstream political pacts and not small parties or independent candidates).

“The ‘big picture’ here in fact is BN 1.0 vs BN 2.0.

“So there is no big picture, it is a small picture. Same party but (it has) changed its shirt, like Pepsi and Coca Cola,” he said.

Arutchelvan said his party sensed that some voters were fed up and generally the people on the ground seemed indifferent.

“For many years, people wanted to overthrow BN. That has been achieved in the last general election.

“The people thought many things would be changed and there would be silver lining tomorrow.

“But, the people realised it is not happening. That’s why (former Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul) Razak is so popular today – it’s because people are fed up (with Harapan),” he said.

Arutchelvan then urged the voters, who are disappointed in both BN and Harapan, to consider voting for PSM candidate Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul.

“In the long run, you need an alternative from the two-party system,” he said.

PSM is eyeing 45 percent of voters aged 40 and below, and constituents residing in townships such as Bandar Kesuma and Bandar Rinching, as they had swung to Harapan in GE14, according to him.

Besides this, Arutchelvan said the party is also targetting the Chinese voters as well as PAS supporters who are disapointed and confused whether PAS is supporting BN in Semenyih by-election.

“Generally, we see a mood of protest in Semenyih this time,” he said.

He told the voters to look at the candidate instead of looking at the party.

He also claimed that the discourse of the by-election would be focused on race and religious sentiments if not for PSM, which champions major issues faced by the people.

“The government supports privatisation of healthcare, PSM supports public health, the government supports third national car, we support public transportation,” he said.

The Semenyih by-election is called following the death of Harapan state assemblyperson Bakhtiar Mohd Nor.

The state constituency witnesses a four-corner fight between Harapan’s Muhammad Aiman Zainali, BN’s Zakaria Hanafi, independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng and Nik Aziz.