Only Malay NGOs have been fussing about Malay candidates from Penang DAP, says DCM Mansor.
Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman, who leads Penang PKR, said DAP would have to abide by the Pakatan Rakyat seat formula and field its Malay candidates in any or several of the seven federal and 19 state constituencies that the party would contest in the state.
He said only the Malay NGOs, especially the Penang Malay Congress, had been “fussing” about DAP fielding more Malay candidates in the state.
PKR would contest the same four parliament and 16 state seats that it did in 2008, Mansor told a press conference during the Penang PKR General Election Convention here today.
The party won three federal and nine state seats in 2008.
Mansor said it was up to DAP to decide whether it would field Malay candidates and where it would do so.
“PKR is not going to entertain any request to give up seats to DAP for Malay candidates.”
Reacting to Mansor’s statement, PMC President Rahmad Isahak told FMT that his suggestion was directed at helping DAP realise its ambition to increase Malay political strength within its ranks.
He said he respected Mansor’s statement but felt that it betrayed the deputy chief minister’s position against DAP’s intention to field Malay candidates.
He recalled that in the 1995 election DAP fielded Malay candidates in 13 state constituencies but conceded them to PKR in 2008.
He said the political scenario had changed since 2008 and Pakatan could no longer depend on public outrage to win, but on the strengths of the parties within the bloc.
Now that Pakatan had ruled the state for a number of years, he added, voters would be able to judge the performance of all its 29 representatives in the state assembly.
“Is PKR confident of delivering more seats this time based on its performance alone?” he asked.
He called on the PKR leadership to be realistic about the party’s chances.
Given the possibility that PKR could become weaker in Penang after the next election, he said, it would be wiser for the party to concede some seats to the stronger DAP.
“PKR should put Pakatan’s larger interests before its own interests,” he added.
“It’s important to ensure Malay candidates are elected on the DAP ticket to empower the community within Pakatan.”