'Shuffling MPs like cards' hurt the party, PKR veteran Tian Chua warns

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — After the announcement of PKR candidates last night, former vice-president Tian Chua has cautioned party leaders that dropping and changing MPs could also hurt the party and alienate voters.

Commenting after the announcement event in Ampang last night, Tian Chua noted that there was some disappointment in the choices of candidates and reminded the party that among the main criteria for a good candidate is their ability to build strong connections with the constituency.

“My biggest fear is that this quality is slowly missing among our legislators. When MPs and seats are shuffled like cards, it is not only hurting the party’s grassroots, it also frustrates the voters who have been faithfully supporting us,” he said in a Facebook post.

“While we are marching to attack our opponents, we must also be on guard not to lose our base,” he said.

The former Batu MP said that he was watching the rally last night from a distance as he was no longer a part of the party leadership and not privy to the candidate selection process but acknowledge that no decision can satisfy everybody.

“However, I think the list of candidates should have been more inclusive in order to reflect the diversity within the party.

“After the announcement, there are many people who are disappointed with some of the choices of candidates. It is accepted that there will never be a perfect system for the selection of candidates. Yet the party must be very mindful and cannot afford to ignore voters' reaction and sentiment, especially during the election season,” he said.

He also reminded candidates that their responsibility is to speak up for their constituency and to represent the interests of voters.

“Don’t treat the voters in the constituency as a ticket to the parliament (or power). MP is not a privileged class, but servants of the people. As MP, we live among the voters and the community is a part of our life,” he said.

Last night, PKR announced that incumbent MPs Maria Chin Abdullah (Petaling Jaya), Datuk Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani), R. Sivarasa (Sungai Buloh), June Leow (Hulu Selangor), Chan Ming Kai (Alor Setar) and Datin Paduka Tan Yee Kew (Wangsa Maju) will not be defending their seats in the coming general election (GE15).

In response, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim admitted that it had been a tough decision to drop several MPs, who have been close friends for decades, from the party’s line-up of candidates.