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Pakatan unity tested by Jelapang seat fight

 | June 6, 2012

Parti Sosialis Malaysia wants the seat, DAP refuses to give it up, and the tension continues.

TAIPING: One state seat in Perak may be the undoing of a loose pact between the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and Pakatan Rakyat. That seat is Jelapang.

DAP’s Hee Yit Foong won the seat in 2008 but then she jumped ship to become a Barsian Nasional friendly independent.This led to the collapse of the Pakatan-held Perak government.

Now, PSM is asking DAP to give up the Jelapang seat to them. They want to field their deputy president M Sarasvathy but in the last election she lost her deposit when she contested in Jelapang.

In their desperate measure to contest in Jelapang, PSM says it will make a deal with DAP that they will only hold the seat for one term.

Sources told FMT that PSM was bending backwards to make sure the pact with Pakatan remains intact.

The sources added that DAP was not agrreable to this pact as they feel the voters want them (DAP) to stand in their traditional seat which was created in 2004.

DAP first won Jelapang when its candidate Hee manage to garner a slim margin of 253 votes in 2004. However in 2008, she retained the seat with 6,707 majority votes.

In 2009, following political differences with her party leadership, Hee declared herself as an independent. It is learnt that she is keen to contest in the seat again in the next general election.

When contacted, Perak DAP chief Ngeh Koo Ham said: “Jelapang is our traditional seat and we do not want PSM to rock the boat as there is only a 50 percent chance of regaining Perak”.

Ngeh’s argument was that DAP could not afford to give up even a single seat which might make the differences in winning the Silver State in the next general election.

He also questioned Sarasvathy’s ability to win this seat as she had lost her deposit when she first contested Jelapang in 2008.

“What ever grievances that the people have (in Jelapang), PSM can bring it to our notice and we will take the necessary action in resolving the problem,” he argued.


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