Chin Tong: Pakatan at odds about which logo to use at Melaka polls, risks alienating voters

·3-min read
Liew Chin Tong speaks during a press conference after the Grand Shravasti Blessing Ceremony For World Peace 2020 event in Petaling Jaya December 11, 2019.— Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Liew Chin Tong speaks during a press conference after the Grand Shravasti Blessing Ceremony For World Peace 2020 event in Petaling Jaya December 11, 2019.— Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The upcoming Melaka state elections will force Pakatan Harapan (PH) component members to confront a longstanding thorny question over which logo the Opposition bloc will use at the polls, according to DAP leader Liew Chin Tong.

Liew in his latest blog post suggested that some in PKR are pushing for the party to contest using its own brand, even as the DAP and Parti Amanah Negara had expressed their belief that the coalition should use the “Harapan” logo just like it did in the 2018 general election.

“The Melaka state election will see Pakatan Harapan deciding on a thorny issue — which logo to use. Last March, DAP and Amanah’s national leadership have respectively made the decision to use the Harapan logo in the coming general election,” wrote Liew, who was formerly a senator.

“PH’s Presidential Council later endorsed the use of the Harapan logo on 23 August. However, many in PKR are still lobbying for the PKR logo,” he added.

The likeliest outcome would still be that all PH parties will use the bloc’s official logo, Liew contended.

But the DAP senator believes there is a likelihood that PKR may still decide to test out its distinct branding, separate from other PH parties which would use the Harapan logo, given the stake of Melaka state election has little bearing at the national level.

Liew said he felt voters could mistake the use of different logos as a sign of division, and affect public confidence in the coalition.

The decision, should it materialise, is also likely to last until the 15th general election, the former deputy minister predicted.

“If there is a PH coalition united around the Harapan logo, it is likely to be seen by voters as a united, coherent, and convincing force up till the next general election,” he said in his newsletter Citizen Tong.

“If PKR and Harapan logos are both used in the Melaka election, it is likely to stay this way in the upcoming general election, which will probably trigger a set of new arrangements.”

PKR could not be reached for comment.

Caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali was forced to dissolve the Melaka state assembly on October 4 following the withdrawal of support by four assemblymen, among them from his own party Umno.

One of them was former Melaka CM Datuk Seri Idris Haron, himself a popular local leader, who has since been sacked by the party.

Liew suggested that Idris could be open to working with PH and help install a PH government should the move happen, with the fractured relations between Umno, Bersatu and PAS making the scenario more likely.

“Given that former Melaka PH Chief Minister Adly Zahari is quite popular, and Umno is split multiple ways internally and fighting “frenemies” PAS and Bersatu at the same time, a united PH under Adly may pose a formidable challenge to Umno,” Liew wrote.

The Election Commission has set November 20 as polling day for the Melaka state election.

Nomination day will be on November 8 and early polling will be held on November 16.

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