Amanah, DAP rebuke PKR for contesting under own flag in Johor

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PKR’s allies have issued a subtle rebuke of its decision to contest the upcoming Johor election under the PKR flag instead of the Pakatan Harapan logo.

While they expressed “respect” for PKR’s decision, Amanah and DAP said it was preferable if coalition partners appeared more united.

“As a coalition, Amanah and DAP would prefer all Harapan allies to unite under the same symbol with a common purpose and a shared political agenda.

“Both Amanah and DAP are of the opinion that political allies and coalition partners stay together in good times and in bad times,” they said in a statement today.

Jointly issued by Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, they contended that a common logo signalled a united front and a “seriousness” to govern.

“A single logo is necessary to showcase to voters the coalition’s seriousness in preparing to govern and to create the effect of a solid intact team during (an) election.

“Swing voters generally respond positively to coalitions or parties which they perceive could win power and could work together despite differences,” they argued.

This was especially true in the Johor polls where they are up against two formidable incumbent coalitions – BN and Perikatan Nasional.

“Having a common logo would have helped voters to identify Amanah, DAP, PKR and Upko as allies of Harapan in a crowded field of political coalitions and parties,” they added.

Mohamad and Lim assured supporters that their parties will not “abandon” Harapan.

“We still have the three Harapan state governments – Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan – to deliver for the rakyat.

“For this reason, both Amanah and DAP will not abandon the coalition logo which will be perceived as abandoning our effort to regain the federal government for the rakyat,” they said.

Furthermore, they said they will continue pushing for a united opposition front by engaging PKR and parties like Muda “for any semblance of hope to secure victory” in the Johor polls.

Meanwhile, PKR and Amanah are taking 20 seats each for the upcoming Johor state election, while DAP is taking 16 seats, Mohamad Sabu confirmed today.

This is after the party divided the 18 seats previously contested by Bersatu, with PKR and Amanah each taking eight additional seats and DAP an extra two. Johor has 56 state seats.

However, the door is still not closed to other opposition parties – Pejuang, Warisan, and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) – to cooperate with Harapan.

Sin Chew Daily cited Mohamad as saying that negotiations with the three outside parties are ongoing and could be concluded in two days.

The situation is expected to be more flexible this time around, with DAP and Amanah having more say after PKR decided to contest using its own logo.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has said that he will seek the authority to sign candidate forms to be transferred from him to Mohamad and Lim.

If this goes through, even if PKR refuses to cede any seats, Amanah and DAP can still make way individually and even authorise for outside candidates to contest under the Harapan logo.

Muda had previously sought to contest under Harapan in the Malacca state election, but talks fell through after PKR and Amanah decided to field Umno defectors as candidates.

Bersatu offshoot Pejuang, meanwhile, had previously said it plans to contest 42 out of 56 seats in Johor.

Harapan had appealed for the opposition to join forces in Johor in a bid to thwart Umno-BN, as well as Perikatan Nasional.

On Harapan’s seat distribution, it is not clear which former Bersatu seats have gone to which party, or if there are any swaps between the components.

However, Johor PKR Women’s leader Napsiah Khamis revealed that the Puteri Wangsa seat had been given to Amanah.

It was not a decision she was happy with.

“We cleared out the bushes, planted the seeds, but ‘they’ come to reap the harvest.

“Are ‘they’ strong? No…we are weak,” she quipped in a Facebook post today.

However, she assured that despite Amanah not being active in Puteri Wangsa, she said she would still mobilise PKR machinery to ensure Harapan’s victory.

Puteri Wangsa was won by Bersatu’s Mazlan Bujang in 2018. He quit the party yesterday and is rejoining Umno.

Earlier report:

Jan 26, PH to contest all 56 seats in Johor