GEORGE TOWN: DAP’s Kasthuri Patto has announced that she will not be running in the next general election (GE15), insisting that she was not dropped from her Batu Kawan seat or moved to another constituency.
The two-term Batu Kawan MP and daughter of the late P Patto, who was a party strongman in the 1970s and ’80s, said she will remain in the party and continue with her passion of fighting for human rights, raising women’s issues and the eradication of child marriage.
Kasthuri, 43, said contrary to what people may conclude, she made the decision after some hard thinking.
“This is the hardest decision I have had to make in my life,” she said at a press conference here today.
“I am stepping down and will not be contesting in the coming elections to make way for future leaders in DAP and Malaysia, and I will forever be indebted to the party for providing me with a platform to serve the people and the nation for two terms as the Batu Kawan MP.
“The party leadership persuaded me to rethink my decision but, after much thought, I will stick to my decision. I have received full support and blessing from the party.
“There have been rumours that I have been dropped, but that is not the case, and I am stepping down on my own accord.”
Asked if she was quitting politics, she said “there is no such thing as quitting in politics when one is passionate about fighting for equality and social justice for marginalised groups”.
“This is what DAP has been championing for decades and it has become the party’s principle, and you can’t detach yourself from that.
“(But) time will tell.”
Kasthuri made her parliamentary debut in 2013, winning the Batu Kawan seat with a majority of 25,962 votes. She went on to retain the seat with a bigger majority of 33,553 votes in the 2018 general election.
Currently the DAP deputy secretary for international affairs, she was elected president of the Parliamentarians for Global Action last December.
She also sits on the steering group for the International Panel of Parliamentarians for the Freedom of Religion and Belief.
Before the dissolution of Parliament, she was a member of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on International Affairs.