Strong views expressed over defector reps ahead of state election

PETALING JAYA: The four state representatives who triggered the collapse of the Melaka state government appear to have also caused fissures in both government and opposition sides ahead of the state polls, say political pundits.

Analysts said the strong reaction from several key Pakatan Harapan leaders indicate that the four are not welcome to contest under the same banner in the state polls next month.

Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian from the School of Social Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia said that it is better for the four to contest as Independents rather than formally joining Pakatan.

“Even if they are accepted, they might face internal bickering, character assassination or even sabotage,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The Melaka state election is set to be held on Nov 20, with Nov 8 set as Nomination Day.

The Melaka state legislative assembly, which consists of 28 seats, was dissolved on Oct 4 after the four representatives withdrew their support for the leadership of then chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

Political analyst Dr Jeniri Amir said that the four reps should not be given any opportunity to contest under Pakatan.

“They are seen as ‘political frogs’ and have their own political agenda. We should put a stop to this kind of culture. In the end, Pakatan would have to face the consequences,” said Jeniri.

Former PKR Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli warned Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim not to accept the four reps and was against taking shortcuts to gain power at the state level.

However, former Batu MP Tian Chua believes that Pakatan should be open to working with any individual to win the state polls.

DAP national organising committee secretary Anthony Loke later stressed the party will not work with “traitors” and had made clear its position at a recent Pakatan presidential council meeting.

Klang MP Charles Santiago also said that there was no guarantee the four won’t jump parties again.

“Elections, in a democracy, allow the rakyat to assert their aspirations and give them the freedom of choice.

“Party defections undermine the asserted will of the people. This has been happening one too many times following the last general election and we at Pakatan cannot condone it,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the coalition was prepared to face three-cornered fights in the upcoming Melaka state election.

He said that the coalition could no longer wait on Barisan Nasional, which remains undecided on whether to cooperate with Perikatan during the state polls.

“We are always ready to cooperate, but the question remains – is the other side (Barisan) ready to cooperate? There isn’t a clear and firm answer.

“If there is no clear indication, we will pursue and follow the decision made at the national level.

“We are ready for three-cornered fights. This is because we are fighters (pejuang),” he said at a press conference that was aired live on his Facebook page yesterday.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan previously said the party has yet to decide whether to go solo or form a pact with other parties for the state election.

“That decision will be made at the (Umno) supreme council meeting. We will discuss the matter in detail, (taking in) the recommendations of the political bureau and other views as well,” said Mohamad.

Melaka Bersatu chief Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen has also indicated that seat allocations among coalition members are expected to be finalised by this week.

He said 50% of the discussions among Bersatu, PAS and Gerakan have been finalised and the rest will be decided very soon.

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