Monday, September 26, 2022

Enough seats for all, even with Muda and PSM, says Maria

Enough seats for all, even with Muda and PSM, says Maria

“What people want to see is that the opposition are together,” says Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah.

PETALING JAYA: There are sufficient parliamentary seats for every Pakatan Harapan component party to contest at the next general election, says Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah of PKR.

Maria said the number of seats in the Dewan Rakyat was sufficient even if Muda and Parti Sosialis Malaysia were included in the PH mix.

She welcomed the talks being held by PH leaders with Muda (and PSM), saying the talks reinforced the image of a united opposition front.

“What people want to see is that the opposition are together, so talking to each other is a good start,” she said.

Although many from her own party have voiced concerns over Muda joining PH, Maria said the matter should be left to the committee to negotiate.

She noted that Muda had shown an interest in contesting seats won by Bersatu under the PH banner in 2018, but said the decision was ultimately up to the top leadership.

“There are so many seats that Muda can contest in. There are enough seats for everybody to contest in, including PSM (and Muda),” she told FMT in an interview.

Maria, a former head of the Bersih reform group, said Muda had had an encouraging start at the Johor state elections in March, when the young party won in Puteri Wangsa.

“For a new party, to win one seat is a good start. You have to start somewhere and they started with a state seat.”

When asked if Muda could help garner the votes of young Malaysians for PH, Maria said the youth wings of the existing component parties in the coalition had their own strong following.

However, she said wooing young voters would take a combination of efforts, in which Muda could provide a helping hand.

Earlier this month, DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook reportedly welcomed reports that Muda was seeking to join PH. However, some PKR leaders did not seem to share Loke’s enthusiasm.

PKR deputy information chief Razeef Rakimin had called Muda a liability and advised PH leaders against letting the party join the coalition, citing insults and arrogant statements by its leaders at the state elections in Johor last year.

PKR vice-president Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, on Twitter, had called out “some PH leaders” for jumping the gun at negotiations with Muda before any decision was reached by the coalition’s presidential council.

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