Penang CM: We accept PH’s decision to hold separate state polls

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Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state administration will accept Pakatan Harapan presidential council’s decision for all three Pakatan-led states to hold the state polls next year.

He said Penang DAP and DAP Malaysia have tried their best to convince the Pakatan presidential council to let Penang hold its state polls concurrently with the 15th general election.

He said they were given a chance for a thorough discussion on this issue before the decision was made.

“The Pakatan presidential council did not disagree with state polls being held but they want state polls for all three Pakatan states to be held at the same time,” he said in a press conference after attending a cheque presentation ceremony at Pusat Jagaan Suria.

The Penang Pakatan chairman said it was decided that all three states will dissolve their state assemblies at the same time.

Sayuti Zainudin

“We accept this decision so now we will focus on GE15 where we have 13 parliamentary seats,” he said.

He said he has also conveyed the official Pakatan decision to the Penang governor that the state assembly will not be dissolved this year.

When asked when the state polls will be held next year, Chow said all three states will have to make a unanimous decision to hold the state polls on the same day.

“We hope the people understand that this was the original decision made by Pakatan and it was actually an appeal process so this is the decision of the appeal that we have to accept,” he said.

He said some parties may be disappointed that the state polls will be held next year but stressed that this decision is part of a democratic process.

The DAP chairman called on party members and supporters to focus on GE15 now instead of lamenting on what has been decided.

“We need to win the 13 seats in Penang because we do not want Umno or Barisan Nasional to rise into federal power again,” he said.

He also called on voters to come out and vote to make sure Umno or BN does not win back the federal government.

Earlier today, Pakatan presidential council announced that Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan will not hold their state polls this year.

PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim said this is to prepare the ground work in the event of flooding in the states during the monsoon season, which is expected next month.

“The PH state governments’ focus at this time is urgent flood-related problems,” Anwar said.

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said the PH decision will not give its rivals ammunition to attack the pact if it reversed its position on the matter.

“The PH decision in facing the 15th general election is important. We should not give an impression that there are cracks in the PH (over the issue). That is why I agreed on behalf of the DAP. I was given a mandate by the Central Executive Committee on this matter. We did our best to pitch our case for a dissolution but there were counter-arguments on the subject.


“The presidential council had discussed this matter two to three times and we now agreed that there will be no dissolution until a later date next year, when the monsoon season is over and it will be conducive to hold state elections,” said Loke at the same press conference.

With this decision, a total of six states will not be holding state elections simultaneously with federal polls.

Apart from Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan, the others are the PAS states of Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan.

Islamist party president Abdul Hadi Awang said the party did not want to hold state polls as it wanted to focus its effort in providing relief to flood victims during the monsoon period, which traditionally hits the east coast states hardest.