PSM confirms Jeyakumar to defend Sungai Siput

Sungai Siput incumbent Michael Jeyakumar had earlier offered to withdraw from contesting in the coming polls.

PETALING JAYA: PSM today confirmed that its sole MP Michael Jeyakumar would contest in the coming polls despite his earlier statement that he was ready to withdraw to prevent gifting the Sungai Siput seat to Barisan Nasional (BN).

PSM secretary-general Sivarajan Arumugam said the decision was reached after discussions with Jeyakumar and branch leaders.

“PH (Pakatan Harapan) is pressuring us by labelling us spoilers, but actually it’s the other way around. Because of PKR’s ego, they are so adamant to put in a candidate to split the votes when Jeyakumar refused to run under the PKR logo.

“However, we are confident of the support given by Sungai Siput folk who want to see Jeyakumar continue to serve them as an MP. We hear their voices and will offer ourselves to contest in the 14th general election (GE14),” he said in a statement.

Jeyakumar had said he was ready to withdraw from defending the Sungai Siput seat to avoid a BN victory in the event of a multi-cornered fight.

Sivarajan said the socialist party, which is not part of PH, was confident that Jeyakumar would beat MIC candidate K Devamany as long as PKR did not field a candidate that would split the votes.

“PKR should respect the voice of Sungai Siput voters and back off. PH will lose the respect of the people if they decide to bring down an MP who has served extremely well in Sungai Siput and in Parliament,” he said.

In 2013, Devamany lost to Jeyakumar, who contested on a PKR ticket, by only 2,793 votes.

Earlier this month, PKR and PSM failed to reach an agreement over seat negotiations.

PSM then announced that it would field its own candidates in GE14.

The party had asked PH for one state seat in Perak, two in Selangor, and one in Kelantan and Pahang along with the two parliament seats of Sungai Siput and Cameron Highlands.

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