GE14 is between PH and BN, PSM told

PKR’s R Sivarasa says PSM’s planned entry in the election will only split votes and benefit BN.

PETALING JAYA: PKR’s R Sivarasa says his party can only offer PSM one parliament seat after the socialist party called on the opposition coalition to stay away from the seats it is contesting.

PSM has confirmed that it will field candidates in four parliamentary seats and 12 state seats in Selangor, Penang, Kelantan, Perak, and Pahang.

Yesterday, it pledged its support for Pakatan Harapan (PH) but urged the pact against contesting in seats where its candidates would be placed.

But Sivarasa, the incumbent MP for Sungai Buloh which PSM is eyeing, said PKR couldn’t offer any additional seats due to the need to share seats among PPBM, DAP and Amanah, and out of respect for the principle of incumbency.

“In an election, anyone has the right to contest. However, the coming election represents a contest between two main forces, PH and Barisan Nasional (BN).

“So the entry of PSM in the way they are planning will split the votes and only benefit BN.”

Multi-cornered fights between PSM candidates in the last election saw BN clinching victories in Semenyih and Kota Damansara.

In Semenyih, BN’s Johan Abd Aziz won with 17,616 votes, while PKR’s Hamidi A Hasan garnered 13,471 votes and PSM’s S Arutchelvan got 5,568 votes.

In Kota Damansara, BN’s Halimaton Saadiah Bohan won with 16,387 votes, while PSM’s Mohd Nasir Hashim who was standing on a PKR ticket got 14,860 votes and PAS’ Ridzuan Ismail got 7,312 votes. Three other independent candidates only managed some 200 votes between them.

Sivarasa said PKR was only able to offer PSM the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat, on the condition that the party runs under PKR’s logo which will be used by the entire PH coalition.

“We cannot offer any additional seats.”

The incumbent for Sungai Siput is PSM’s Dr Michael Jeyakumar, who won and defended the seat in the 2008 and 2013 elections on a PKR ticket.

“We know they are not happy with that offer. We hope, however, that they will look at the big picture and accept it and contest Sungai Siput on a straight fight basis with BN.”

DAP’s Lim Siew Khim, the incumbent for the Sungai Pinang state seat in Penang where PSM will field a candidate, said it was unfair for PSM to ask PH not to place a candidate there when the seat was held by the opposition pact.

If selected to defend the seat, Lim will not only be up against a BN candidate, but her former DAP colleague Teh Yee Cheu as well.

Teh, the incumbent for Tanjung Bungah, will be contesting the Sungai Pinang state seat on a PSM ticket.

“I’m not sure whether I’m contesting here, but he was a close friend in DAP and is still my close friend,” said Lim on the prospect of facing Teh.

PSM said yesterday it hoped PH would not contest in seats where its candidates stood a better chance of winning, such as Sungai Siput and Cameron Highlands.

It also said PSM was never consulted by PH over seat negotiations for GE14.

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We’ll back you but don’t come to our areas, PSM tells PH