DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng conceded that Pakatan Harapan had made “mistakes” with regard to the coalition’s handling of Umno defectors.
However, Lim expressed hope that the coalition won’t continue to make more mistakes, particularly on the coalition’s chief ministerial candidate for the Malacca polls.
“We’ve made mistakes and we can’t go on making more mistakes.
“In particular, the chief ministerial candidate must be Adly Zahari,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted.
Lim also acknowledged that the DAP, which had opposed Harapan fielding Umno defectors in the Malacca polls but was outvoted by PKR and Amanah, has to work hard to explain the issue to the people.
Amanah’s Adly was the Malacca chief minister when Harapan was the state government from 2018 to 2020. He will be defending his Bukit Katil seat.
Party sources privy about the Harapan negotiations told Malaysiakini that DAP had been pressuring PKR president Anwar Ibrahim to formally announce Adly as the chief ministerial candidate.
This is because of concerns that Idris Haron, who defected from Umno and will be fielded by PKR in Asahan as a Harapan candidate, has ambitions for the top job.
Idris was the Malacca chief minister from 2013 to 2018 under the BN government.
To date, Anwar, who is also the Harapan chairperson, has not formally endorsed Adly as Harapan’s chief ministerial candidate.
Idris in October led the defection of four assemblypersons, including himself, to bring down the Umno-Bersatu government.
The Umno-Bersatu government was likewise formed through defection in 2020.
Idris had hoped to form the new government with the help of Harapan but was outmanoeuvred when incumbent Malacca chief minister Sulaiman Md Ali sought a dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for fresh polls.
Prior to the coup being scuttled, PKR sources had told Malaysiakini that they were prepared to back Idris as the chief ministerial candidate because he could get more Umno assemblypersons to defect to his side.
However, the potential additional defectors, if any, never showed their hand after the attempt to form a new government failed.
It is unclear if PKR is still banking on the same strategy or whether Idris still has the influence to muster support from Umno assemblypersons in the event of a hung state assembly.
It should be noted that the Umno leadership, in consultation with Malacca Umno chief Ab Rauf Yusoh, had replaced a majority of incumbents in the state polls.
Only five of the 13 incumbents were retained as candidates for the Nov 20 polls.
That means any potential defectors who may have wanted to join Idris but did not follow through when the state assembly was dissolved have likely been replaced.
PKR is fielding Idris in Asahan under the Harapan banner. Idris previously contested in Sungai Udang.
Apart from Idris, Amanah is also fielding Nor Azman in Pantai Kundor as a Harapan candidate. Nor Azman previously won the seat under Umno. – Malaysiakini