Amidst simmering tensions, DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim has issued a statement backing coalition partner PKR in the next general elections.
“Penang DAP will stand together with PKR to defend Permatang Pauh and all Pakatan Harapan seats in Penang.
“As the Bukit Mertajam DAP chairperson who is the ‘neighbour’ of the Permatang Pauh Parliamentary constituency, I will give my full support to PKR to defend the seat which is a symbol of the reform struggle of Malaysians,” said Steven in a statement today.
He referred to media reports on the plans of Bersatu to field candidates in the Permatang Pauh seat in the 15th general election.
In the last GE, Nurul Izzah Anwar won the parliamentary seat while Harapan also swept the state seats of Penanti, Permatang Pasir and Seberang Jaya. However, the winning candidate in Seberang Jaya, Dr Afif Bahardin, has since defected to Bersatu.
Yesterday, Penang PKR deputy chief Sim Tze Tzin said he was confident that the state’s voters will not accept “defectors” in GE15 because it is not easy to forget the political difficulties brought about by the elected representatives who jumped ship.
In his statement today, Steven said that DAP will continue to work hard to defend and fulfil the mandate of the people of Penang who want a developed, benevolent and green state through the vision of Penang 2030.
“We reject the parties that betrayed the mandate of the people in the Sheraton Move, thus causing the country to plunge into continuing political instability as well as failing to manage the Covid-19 pandemic well,” he said.
This statement comes after the Penang executive council member in charge of health, Dr Norlela Arifin of PKR, accused several DAP lawmakers, including their leader Lim Guan Eng, of being bullies.
Norlela, who happens to also be the Penanti assemblyperson, claimed that Lim, Penang exco member Phee Boon Poh and Pulau Tikus assemblyperson Lee Chun Kit, among others, had made public statements disparaging her and crediting the drop in Covid-19 cases in Penang to DAP lawmakers.
“They have been saying that all the Covid-19 case reductions are because of Phee's appointment (as Penang Emergency Response Team head) and Steven (as Penang-Putrajaya Covid-19 coordinator),” said Norlela on Friday.
On Sept 8, Lim described Norlela as “naive” for “blindly following the wishes” of the federal government on the state’s Covid-19 response while on Sept 12, he described Norlela as a “helpless bystander” because Penangites with Covid-19 have trouble seeking medical attention.
On Oct 3, the former Penang chief minister praised Steven for bringing down the number of Covid-19 cases in Penang.