PETALING JAYA: DAP has pleaded with PSM to abstain from entering the contest for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat.
M Manogaran, who is Pahang DAP’s deputy chairman and the Pakatan Harapan candidate for the seat, said there was a good chance that Barisan Nasional would lose the contest if the opposition votes were not split.
Speaking to FMT, he acknowledged the work PSM had done in Cameron Highlands, but he said he was hoping it would recognise that voters were looking at the coming election as basically a contest between BN and PH.
“This election is different from others before it in many ways,” he said. “We even have Dr Mahathir, a former prime minister, leading the opposition coalition. And he is using PKR’s logo. Even DAP is not using its iconic rocket.”
He said these were among the factors that were making voters think of the coming polls an an epic contest between two coalitions. “I would urge PSM to wake up to reality,” he added.
“PSM people are good people and we know the work they do on the ground, but the voters must be left to decide whether its BN or PH.”
He was commenting on PSM’s recent statement pledging support for PH in the coming polls but telling it to stay away from Cameron Highlands and Sungai Siput. It said it had done more ground work in these constituencies than either BN or PH.
Manogaran noted PSM’s argument that DAP failed to deliver the Cameron Highlands seat to the opposition in 2013 after the socialist party agreed to stay away from the contest.
“They say they stayed away and still we lost and they’re using that as an excuse to come in, but I would remind PSM that we lost very narrowly at a BN fortress, by 462 votes to be exact.
“Looking at that, it is only logical that we be allowed to contest again without disturbance so that we can cover the 462 votes.”
Manogaran said he understood that PSM, as a political party, had to contest to remain relevant, but he added that there would be opportunities for the party to contribute to Cameron Highlands’ development after the election.
“They are my friends,” he said. “I have nothing against them and I would love for them to come and help me win this seat. After winning, we can sit down and talk about what we can do together for Camerons.”
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