GEORGE TOWN: After disappearing from active politics for many years, Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) is gearing up for a comeback in the 14th general election (GE14), with one of its members taking on state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.
Former National Union of Journalists leader Chua Cheong Wee, 49, has been slated to contest against Chow in his Padang Kota state seat.
Chow has held his seat for two terms with increased majorities since 2008, after beating three-term assemblyman Teng Chang Yeow of Gerakan. Chow, too, was a journalist before entering politics.
Chua, who used to be a reporter at Chinese language daily Kwong Wah Yit Poh (KWYP), is from Penang.
His former KWYP colleague, Chew Sung Tung, 35, will also stand in GE14 in Pengkalan Kota, a neighbouring seat of Padang Kota, which is also held by DAP.
DAP’s Lau Keng Ee won Pengkalan Kota in the past two elections.
Bull’s head logo
PRM, as part of the larger Socialist Front alliance, won many wards in the 1961 Penang local elections, garnering 14 out of 15 under the then-George Town City Council.
However, the party which is best remembered for its bull’s head logo, has been on political hiatus for a long time.
Its last attempt in contesting was an obscure one, where it fielded Azman Shah Othman in the 2015 Permatang Pauh by-election.
Penang PRM chairman Tang Hiang Lye said it was looking to make a comeback in the state as well as nationally.
“All I can say is, please come for our event on Saturday where we will present more surprises. We are fielding many candidates for Penang,” he said when contacted.
Meanwhile, Chua said he was contesting because the people were fed up with the mainstream politics demonstrated by Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“Both parties have their own problems, so it is time for an alternative choice,” he told FMT, adding that he would reveal more this Saturday.
Two weeks ago, former DAP assemblywoman Jenice Lee announced that she would be contesting under the PRM banner in the Teratai state seat and Pandan parliamentary seat, which are both in Selangor.
Scientific socialism ideology
Ahmad Boestamam, an activist with the leftist Kesatuan Melayu Muda movement, founded PRM in 1955.
The party was renamed the Malaysian People’s Socialist Party and officially adopted scientific socialism as its ideology.
Despite the party’s re-orientation, the post-1969 political scenario meant that it remained largely on the sidelines.
In 2003, PRM merged with the then-Parti Keadilan Nasional to form PKR.
However, several PRM members decided to remain within the party and, in 2005, formed an executive committee.
It was previously reported that PRM has some 5,000 members nationwide. It has also declared itself as a PH-friendly party by supporting the opposition coalition’s events and activities.