WITHOUT a single seat being offered to the party, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) has pulled out of its electoral pact with the Pakatan Harapan coalition, deeming the latter has no desire to forge an electoral pact with them.
“We were informed through an official letter from Pakatan on Oct 30 (yesterday) that PSM’s minimum request for an electoral pact with them has been totally rejected,” the party’s elections director S. Arutchelvan pointed out in a media statement today.
“We regret the matter being informed to us so late in spite of the statement by (PKR’s deputy president) Rafizi (Ramli) on Friday (Oct 28) that certain seats were allocated for PSM and MUDA.”
In the two meetings held between PSM and Pakatan, Arutchelvan said the party has put forward a very minimal request that its chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj be allowed to stand as “he is the best and most winnable candidate for Sungai Siput”.
“We also named two other alternate non-incumbent Parliament seats held by Barisan Nasional (BN) if Sungai Siput seat is denied as a worst-case scenario.
“Additionally, we requested three non-incumbent state seats held by BN,” revealed Arutchelvan, who is also PSM’s deputy national chairman. “We nevertheless indicated that we would be happy with any Parliament seat and two state seats.”
He added: “The Pakatan negotiation team of Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Setiawangsa MP from PKR) and Steven Sim (Bukit Mertajam MP from DAP) said that our issues can only be resolved by the Pakatan presidential council which finally informed us today – six days before the nomination date of this disappointing outcome.”
With the latest development, PSM will be holding an emergency central committee meeting today as well as a national committee meeting tomorrow – its second highest decision-making body – to decide if the party would be contesting or sitting out of the 15th General Election (GE15).
“No serious effort”
“We are disappointed that there was no serious effort made by Pakatan to hasten this process or find a way in spite of numerous efforts on our part,” lamented Arutchelvan.
“We are aware that many people who are hoping for us to work together with Pakatan will be disappointed as well as those who keep telling us ‘Didn’t I tell you?’ will feel vindicated.
“We would just like to tell our members and supporters that we have tried. The pact is over but not the struggle.”
Hard feelings aside, Arutchelvan nevertheless pointed out that PSM would still rally behind Pakatan.
“PSM looks at the GE15 as a momentous election and a difficult election for Pakatan due to the existing conditions and based on the recent past state elections results. Hence, we wanted to mobilise our machinery and grassroots communities towards this task,” he stressed.
In retrospect, Arutchelvan said PSM requested an electoral pact with Pakatan because it was the desire of the party’s members, supporters as well as civil society members that PSM should not stand alone but join a coalition.
“Having evaluated all the existing coalitions – BN, Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Pakatan, PSM members decided then to start a process of electoral pact with Pakatan, which is seen as the most multiracial and progressive coalition among the three,” he recalled.
“Pakatan then through official channels agreed that a process on the electoral pact with PSM will be initiated.” – Oct 30, 2022