Squabble begins over Harapan's fate after PKR 'flies solo'

·4-min read
Squabble begins over Harapan's fate after PKR 'flies solo'
Squabble begins over Harapan's fate after PKR 'flies solo'

Pakatan Harapan leaders are making their displeasure known on social media after PKR decided to use its own logo in the upcoming Johor polls.

At least two DAP reps have questioned Harapan's status as a coalition, while PKR has defended the decision as an election strategy.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy was among the critics.

"If PKR does not trust the coalition’s logo, then what is the point of having the coalition in the first place?" he said in a statement this morning.

Ramasamy also questioned how Harapan, as a whole, can broaden the coalition to face Umno-BN in the next general election if they can't even use a common logo in a state election.

Tras assemblyperson Chow Yu Hui went further when he said PKR's decision to use the blue-eye flag was basically announcing that Harapan exists "in name only".

"The reality is PKR is flying solo. There is no need for DAP and Amanah to embrace the Harapan flag when the spirit of alliance and strategic values are gone.

"Insisting on using the Harapan logo will only make the grassroots more confused while the voters feel disgusting," he added.

Chow mooted for DAP to use its own logo in the state polls.

PKR yesterday announced it would use its own logo in the Johor polls, saying the Harapan logo had too much baggage tied to its two-year stint in government.

Amanah and DAP will continue to use the coalition's logo.

Ramasamy said PKR's arguments to abandon the Harapan logo were preposterous.

He said the problem with Harapan was not the logo, but rather its former chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"Why should PKR leaders blame the logo, rather than taking the blame themselves?

"The Harapan leadership must take the blame for their close and parasitic relationship with Mahathir," Ramasamy said.

Flawed narrative

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Chang Lih Kang and treasurer-general Lee Chean Chung, in separate Facebook posts, said the argument that Harapan has collapsed because PKR is using its own logo was a flawed narrative.

They both cited how DAP and Amanah contested under the Warisan logo during the 2020 Sabah state election. PKR used its own logo in that election.

"Since the establishment of Harapan, we used PKR logo (in 2018 general election and several by-elections), Harapan logo (in Port Dickson and Tanjung Piai by-elections, and Malacca state polls) and own parties' logo (in Sabah and Sarawak state elections).

"All of us were crossing the river by feeling the stones in the bumpy political experiments.

"Our priority now is to win the approval of the people. It is easier if we can have more empathy and less personal agenda as we are advancing on the path of reforms.

"While turning hawkish as party election looms is inevitable, but I hope no one will burn the mosquito net just to get the mosquitoes," said Chang.

Lee said the use of the PKR logo is a strategic consideration as it was accepted by everyone in the 2018 general election.

"After the Sheraton Move, certain Harapan party insisted to make Mahathir the prime minister for the third time even when he was not part of Harapan. Back then, I did not hear anyone saying Harapan existed in name only.

"Instead of repeating the political squabbles that will annoy the people, why not focus on our political propaganda, highlighting the corruption and split in BN, the flip-flop in PN. Isn't it better?" he asked.

The duo said Harapan should focus on winning the Johor election instead of fighting over logos.

Meanwhile, PKR Youth secretary Syukri Razab conceded that using separate logos was a bad move.

However, he said Harapan should not try to fool the people into thinking that the coalition embraces diverse opinions.

Syukri said the solution is for the other Harapan parties to use PKR's logo as well.

"Truth be told, I don't understand why Amanah and DAP find it so hard to use the PKR logo. What's wrong with the PKR logo?

"Is it just because PKR will be seen as the 'big brother' if its logo is used, therefore it must be rejected?

"For Harapan's sake, use the PKR logo. Whether (PKR will be seen as) abang long, ayahanda or pak long, they are just sentiments that need to be managed " he said in a Facebook post.

PKR has been fighting to return to its logo for much of last year.

Despite citing baggage with the Harapan logo, some PKR leaders have argued previously that returning to the party logo would evoke sentiments from 2018 when the coalition won the general election using the same logo.

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