PSM ends pact with Pakatan after allegedly given no seat for GE15

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) has called off its electoral pact with Pakatan Harapan after accusing the coalition of refusing to allocate it with even a single seat to contest in the 15th general election.

PSM deputy chairman S. Arutchelvan said his party had initially asked that former Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj be allowed to recontest the seat, but would have accepted any three non-incumbent constituencies for the November 19 poll.

“We were informed through an official letter from Pakatan Harapan dated 30th October 2022 that PSM’s minimum request for an electoral pact with PH has been totally rejected.

“Without a single seat given, we understand that PH does not desire an electoral pact with PSM,” he said in a statement today.

Arutchelvan criticised PH for only informing his party so close to nomination day, and noted that PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli had said as recently as yesterday that three seats have been allocated to the former’s party as well as Muda to contest in GE15.

The PSM leader said it was disappointing that PH was unwilling to compromise even when his party made such a “minimal request” or put in effort to reach its conclusion sooner.

He acknowledged that the decision would upset those hoping to see the two cooperate in GE15 as well as vindicate those who advised PSM against the pact.

“We would just like to tell our members and supporters that we have tried. The pact is over but not the struggle,” Arutchelvan said.

He added that PSM will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to decide if the party should still contest in the general election independently or sit it out entirely.

In 2008, Dr Jeyakumar turned giant-killer when he upset then MIC president, the late Tun Samy Vellu, to win the Sungai Siput seat, and defended it successfully in 2013.

However, a similar negotiation breakdown in 2018 led to a four-way clash in the seat, with both PKR and PSM contesting against each other as well as Barisan Nasional and PAS.

PKR’s S. Kesavan eventually won that contest while Dr Jeyakumar came in fourth.

On Oct 12, PH chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim confirmed the coalition would enter electoral pacts with Muda and PSM.

While PSM has not been allocated any seats, Muda has already been given three.