PSM compromises on logo, not seats

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KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) has agreed to use the symbols of other Pakatan Rakyat parties instead of its clenched fist logo in next month’s general election.

However, PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan stressed that PSM would not back down from the four seats it aims to contest.

PSM would be fielding its four candidates in two states: Semenyih and Kota Damansara state seats in Selangor; Sungai Siput parliament and Jelapang state seat in Perak.

“We have reversed the decision taken by our national committee that insisted on using our logo. The party is only willing to compromise on the logo. If PKR does not give in, we will contest the seats using our own logo,” he told a press conference here.

Arutchelvan was commenting on the party’s emergency national committee meeting resolution held last night that was participated by 93 state and branch delegates.

PSM’s national committee had passed a resolution to use their logo for GE13 on Jan 13.

Between a rock and a hard place

On Sunday night, Opposition Leader and PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim announced his Serdang division chief Hamidi Hassan as the Semenyih candidate. This paved the way for a possible three-cornered showdown for the state seat.

He however did not name a candidate for Kota Damansara although PKR had shortlisted candidates previously.

Yesterday, Arutchelvan revealed that PKR had backtracked on its words by fielding candidates in PSM contested seats.

In 2008, Arutchelvan lost Semenyih to Umno’s Johan Aziz by 1,140 votes. Johan polled 11,588 votes to Arutchelvan’s 10,448 votes.

Party chairman Nasir Hashim polled 11,846 votes to beat Umno’s Zein Isma Ismail by a majority of 1,075 votes. Zein obtained 10,771 votes for the Kota Damansara seat.

PSM supreme council member Dr D Michael Jeyakumar clinched Sungai Siput by defeating former MIC president S Samy Vellu with a majority of 1,821 votes. He polled 16,458 votes to Samy’s 14,637 votes.

In Jelapang, PSM deputy chairman M Sarasvathy was defeated in a three-cornered battle.

DAP’s Hee Yit Foong polled 12,219 votes to win against MCA candidate, Loh Kai Pin’s 5,512 votes and Sarasvathy’s 1,275 votes in the Chinese-majority seat located in Batu Gajah.

For this coming election, DAP is adamant that it wants to place its candidate in Jelapang despite PSM’s long term work in the state constituency.

Even in Sungai Siput, there is talk that either PKR or DAP would want to have their candidate to take on MIC’s SK Devamany.

Meanwhile, Arutchelvan said that an emergency PSM meeting had been arranged last night since PKR’s action had put PSM between a rock and a hard place.

No PSM-friendly candidates

The emergency meeting also witnessed the rejection of offers from non-members to contest using PSM logo.

“We have rejected the requests from 12 non-PSM members because it goes against PSM’s principles. We don’t believe in parachute candidates,” he said.

The party strictly ensures that members serve a constituency for a minimum of five years before contesting for a seat. In addition, the candidacy must be supported by the party’s local branch.

On another matter, the party is also offering its local branch secretary B Suresh Kumar to contest for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat, which will be contested by MIC president G Palanivel.

“It is a question of winnability. We are confident that Suresh can defeat Palanivel. We’ll request DAP to consider it but will not pressure them to accept our request,” said Arutchelvan.