PETALING JAYA: Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s (PSM) Dr Michael Jeyakumar is going it alone for the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat, saying that big powers like PKR and DAP don’t think they need the party for the general election.
Dr Jeyakumar, who made headlines with his giant-killing defeat of then MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in 2008, is willing to risk losing his seat in the coming election on a matter of principle.
Dr Jeyakumar, 62, was one of 17 candidates – for five parliamentary and 12 state seats – named by PSM at the launch of its manifesto recently.
“The party has been forced to take the action of a unilateral declaration of candidates,” said Dr Jeyakumar when contacted.
“This is because Pakatan Harapan has never negotiated seats with us. In the last election, three out of our four people faced three-cornered fights. Only I got a straight fight against Barisan Nasional and I managed to win the seat.”
Dr Jeyakumar twice won the Sungai Siput seat standing under Parti Keadilan Rakyat despite being a leading PSM member.
However, instead of recognising PSM as a potential partner, Pakatan has chosen not to engage his party this time around.
“We called early on for negotiations but we were not taken on board. I don’t believe the issues are ideological.
“I think the big powers like PKR and DAP think they don’t need us, but they need new parties like Amanah and Pribumi to reach the Malay heartland voters,” said Dr Jayakumar.
PSM had earlier mooted the concept of the Left Coalition, in theory a broad-based coalition of the party and miscellaneous allies, including Parti Rakyat Malaysia.
However, Dr Jeyakumar discounts the possibility of this coalition forming a third force, saying they were not strong enough.
“We are not strong enough for a third force. We would have been happy if Pakatan had given us some seats and we can still negotiate with them.
“But right now, by giving us no seats, they are asking us to give up and close shop.
“This is not what we want, and we also need to survive.”
Asked about the presence of maverick DAP Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu at the manifesto launch, Dr Jeyakumar said: “He is a man of principle and if we are to support non-PSM candidates, we want them to have a track record of principles and hard work.
“But for now, he has yet to decide on his next step.
“Even if he makes a choice to work with us, there is a party mechanism that must be followed before we can proceed.”
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