Former Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah will contest as a PKR candidate in the 14th general election.
While the party welcomed her into its fold yesterday, its leaders declined to say if the activist will be required to join as a member.
PKR leaders also said that it has earmarked a seat for Maria, but did not elaborate further.
The announcement was made at PKR’s headquarters on Friday (March 23), in the presence of party vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar and Tian Chua, Wanita Chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah.
“A seat has been allocated (for her). We welcome her to the family. She has decided to contest under the PKR logo,” said Nurul.
“I think this is an important moment for us because having someone like Maria representing the civil society (will help) always ensure that the ideals of reform and our principles remain intact. This is really crucial in PKR’s tradition.
“When we first formed in 1999, we have always given room to and we were in turn boosted by, the presence of civil society leaders,” Nurul Izzah told reporters at the press conference.
When Maria was asked by reporters on why she decided to change her decision to contest as an independent candidate, she said, “That still applies. I will still be using PKR logos and contesting in whichever seat PKR offers me”.
Previously, speculation was rife that Maria was likely to contest in the Petaling Jaya Selatan parliamentary seat, which is currently held by Hee Loy Sian, the two-term incumbent there.
Thanking PKR for welcoming her into its family, Maria said: “I will do my best to advance the reform agenda. It is time to recognise the country’s need for change.”
She said that she did not join the Barisan Nasional as it was not in line with her reform agenda.
“I support the Pakatan Harapan manifesto because of its promised electoral reforms, environmental protection, and gender equality, among others,” she added.
Zuraida said Maria’s involvement in politics would boost women’s empowerment efforts.
Tian Chua said that the issue of whether Maria is a PKR member, or an independent candidate, does not arise at this point in time.
“I think we don’t want to go into all this terminology. The main issue is we want people to participate in the elections for change.
“Let’s deal with the elections now, which is probably going to be held in a month’s time or at least one-and-a-half months’ away. We have to keep our focus on winning.”
Nurul Izah assured that every candidate contesting under PKR’s banner will be subjected to the party’s principles.
Mar 5, Maria to Contest in GE14