PETALING JAYA: Former PKR vice-president Tian Chua has warned that PKR’s move to drop several MPs ahead of the 15th general election (GE15) could hurt the party.
Commenting on PKR’s announcement of 72 candidates to be fielded in the peninsula for GE15, the former Batu MP said that there were many who were disappointed with the decisions made by the party leadership for some of the seats.
Tian Chua admitted that there will never be a “perfect system” for the selection of candidates, but he said the party must be very mindful that it cannot afford to ignore voters’ reactions and sentiments when it comes to the polls.
“One of the core criteria for choosing candidates is the ability to build strong connections with the constituency,” he said in a Facebook post.
“My biggest fear is that this quality is slowly missing among our legislators.
“When MPs and seats are shuffled like cards, it not only hurts the party’s grassroots, it also frustrates the voters who have been faithfully supporting us.
“While we are marching to attack our opponents, we must also be on guard not to lose our base,” he said, adding that the list of candidates should have been more inclusive in order to reflect the diversity within the party.
One of those dropped was Maria Chin Abdullah, the former chairman of electoral reform group Bersih. She won the Petaling Jaya parliamentary seat in 2018 with a 57,137 majority against candidates from Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS.
R Sivarasa, who was Sungai Buloh MP, was also dropped from the PKR candidates list, as was incumbent Gopeng MP and former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
Other former PKR MPs who will not be defending their seats include Tan Yee Kew (Wangsa Maju), June Leow (Hulu Selangor), Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani) and Chan Ming Kai (Alor Setar).