PPBM political appointees likely to lose posts, says Penang PH leader

Penang PH deputy chairman and PKR chief Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik says other states such as Selangor and Negeri Sembilan have begun purging political appointees from PPBM.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang’s political appointees from PPBM will “most likely” lose their positions, following a policy adopted by the state Pakatan Harapan council over the weekend.

Penang PH deputy chairman Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said those wanting to remain in their posts would have to switch to a PH component party.

He said this followed a political realignment at the federal level, which has seen Selangor and Negeri Sembilan purging political appointees from PPBM.

In Penang, he said, there were about 100 PPBM Village Security and Development Council (MPKK) members, with another four party members holding councillor posts in two local governments.

“If they want to remain in state-related positions, they should pick a PH party to join – PKR, DAP or Amanah,” he said on the sidelines of an event at the Balik Pulau market today.

Bakthiar, who is also the Penang PKR chief, said last weekend’s meeting with state PH party chiefs also decided not to dissolve the state assembly in case a general election was called any time soon.

If there was a snap election, he said, PKR would contest four parliamentary seats in the state – Bayan Baru, Balik Pulau, Permatang Pauh and Nibong Tebal – which were the same seats it contested and won in the last polls.

In the event a state election was called, PKR would contest in 16 seats, including the two traditional seats of Bertam and Teluk Bahang which were given up to PPBM to contest in the 2018 elections.

He said Amanah would contest the Penaga and Permatang Berangan state seats, on top of the sole state seat it won in Permatang Pasir in 2018.

Recently, two Penang PKR assemblymen crossed over to Perikatan Nasional, which saw them being sacked from the party.

Two-term Nibong Tebal MP Mansor Othman, who contested on the PKR ticket, also crossed over to PN recently and is now the deputy higher education minister.

In the Penang assembly, PKR has 12 representatives, DAP 19 and Amanah two.

The opposition, comprising PPBM, Umno and PAS, has seven assemblymen. Sungai Acheh assemblyman Zulkifli Ibrahim has yet to decide which party he will be joining.

There are 13 parliamentary seats in Penang, with PKR holding three, DAP seven seats, Umno two, and PPBM one.

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