No “big tent” in GE15 or anti-BN wave of voters like before, says PSM

(Focus Malaysia) – PARTI Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) remains skeptical about the opposition putting up a united front during the upcoming 15th General Elections (GE15) as the political landscape is vastly different than before.

Instead, PSM secretary-general A. Sivarajan foresees a repeat of history in the form of the 2022 Johor state elections, where Barisan Nasional (BN) almost completely dominated the state and sent Pakatan Harapan (Pakatan) packing.

Speaking to the Malay Mail, Sivarajan said PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “big tent” idea has fallen through since “no one is really talking about it” and there is not enough time for the opposition to pull themselves together and unite.

“Even within PKR, Rafizi, who is now the deputy president, is not into it,” Sivarajan added. “He is mainly on his way to building up the party by itself. So, we think the big tent will not happen before GE15.”

As a result, Sivarajan foresees some constituencies seeing five or even six-cornered fights in GE15 if this trend continues.

This is because voters will be spoilt for choice in terms of political parties, ranging from the far-right and pro-Malay Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) coalition, Government coalitions (BN and Perikatan Nasional), Pakatan and other small left-wing parties like the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) and PSM.

“We think that nothing great is going to happen in GE15; there’s not even gonna be a wave of what we saw (during the 14th General Elections or GE14) in 2018 where the wave of opposition against BN was very strong, and with Pakatan,” Sivarajan added.

“Now, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Everyone is talking by themselves. It’s going to be very complicated,” he said.

“Open to working with the opposition”

Meanwhile, Sivarajan told the Malay Mail that PSM is open to standing on the tickets of other, more notable opposition parties in GE15 – provided that its candidates remain as PSM members if they win.

“We are still open to an electoral pact and if the opposition says that everyone comes under one logo, and if they have given us a reasonable amount of seats, then we will agree to it,” he said.

(Photo credit: Bernama)

He added that if all opposition parties in such a pact are given the chance to use their own logos, PSM will also do so.

This is the same stipulation that its former Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar set when he stood on a PKR ticket during the 12th General Elections (GE12) in 2008; after winning the seat, he informed Parliament that he was a PSM member, not a PKR one.

“But of course, we agreed that we are part of the opposition bloc, we sit in the opposition, and we will support the opposition in the voting process. So that’s always the position we had held up to today,” he added.

On another note, Sivarajan said PSM will review once more its list of 20 state and federal constituencies that the party is eyeing in GE15.

“We have our own KPI (key performance index), so among the 20 seats, these five have done more work, so we look at their potential, how’s the margin to win or lose.

“If we think these five are good, okay go, five go first in GE15, the rest keep working until GE16, GE17, and so on,” he said.

In all of Malaysian history, PSM has only had one MP – Michael – and one assemblyman, its former president Mohd Nasir Hashim (Kota Damansara).

During GE14, PSM competed in their largest turnout but did not win any seats.