PKR leaders criticise Muda on Johor election seat distribution

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Despite the Johor state election being just around the corner, opposition parties PKR and Muda, which only weeks ago announced a partnership, are currently at each other’s throats.

Leaders from both sides are openly criticising one another, accusing the other side of being responsible for the failure to reach an agreement over seat distribution for the state election.

PKR Johor chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said PKR had already made its offers of seats to the newly-registered party.

Muda, however, had rejected the three seats offered by PKR, he claimed.

“The three seats offered by PKR were rejected and Muda is still demanding other seats.

“Things became complicated when the seats they demanded comprised mixed and urban seats, which are difficult to fix without taking PKR’s strength into account. Therefore, the negotiations could not proceed.

“As a Pakatan Harapan (PH) component party, PKR remains committed to a consensus with its partners emphasising on solidarity without intimidation or threats.

“Don’t simply tarnish the spirit of togetherness due to demands. Focus on winning the seats contested to defend the people and bring about a better future to Johor and its people,” Syed Ibrahim said in a statement today.

Syed Ibrahim is believed to be referring to a statement by Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who earlier today said the party remained open to negotiations with PKR despite the recent failed attempts.

Syed Saddiq said Muda would prefer to avoid overlapping seats with PH component parties but the party would make its decision by the end of the week if a consensus could not be reached with PKR.

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His statement, however, did not go down well with PKR Youth vice-chief Thiban Subbramaniam, who called Syed Saddiq ” a baby” for his demands.

Thiban said Muda only wanted urban and “comfortable” seats, adding that the newly-registered party should not be “acting like a baby who needs to be spoon-fed all the time”.

“Muda needs to feel the pain of the struggle to achieve a victory instead of begging and threatening just to get comfortable seats to win the election.

“Muda is trying to disturb PKR’s seats in Larkin, Ulu Tiram and a few other state seats as well as ‘attacking’ a few former state assemblymen.

“But, due to the spirit of togetherness, PKR decided to move on and still offered three seats to Muda.

“If Muda is not confident of winning in Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional strongholds, it would be better if Muda just sits it out and not contest in the upcoming state polls,” he said.

Former PKR Youth information chief Syed Badli Shah Syed Osman has warned Syed Saddiq against hurling threats at PKR.

Syed Badli said there was no need to use a “threatening” voice when negotiating with PKR.

“The immature act of threatening to field candidates in the PKR seats means Muda is ready to end cooperation with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“Keep in mind that PH is moving as a coalition. Rejecting PKR means rejecting PH,” he said in a statement today.

PKR has also cautioned that it can do the same to Muda if the youth-led party were to contest against PKR candidates in the Johor polls.

PKR Wanita vice-chief Faizah Ariffin said the suggestion of a possible clash showed that Muda held a grudge after the collapse of the negotiations.

“If that is their wish, it is my view for PKR to also field a candidate in seats contested by Muda, particularly in Puteri Wangsa.

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“Muda is not part of Harapan and I do not see a problem facing them in the field,” she said in a statement.

Faizah said Muda should accept the failure of the negotiations but if it wanted a fight, it would get one.

“I welcome his view… It is open for any party to put any candidates in any seats that they deem have a good chance of winning,” she said.

Puteri Wangsa is considered a winnable seat and Muda has announced its secretary-general Amira Aisya Abd Aziz as their candidate.

PKR’s partners Amanah and DAP concluded their negotiations with Muda on Feb 9, offering the party six seats to contest in.

They are Tenang, Bukit Kepong, Parit Raja, Machap, Puteri Wangsa and Bukit Permai.

However, Muda and PKR failed to reach an agreement as PKR was only prepared to offer the Umno strongholds of Sri Medan, Semarang and Benut while Muda wanted Gambir and Larkin.

PKR has already announced Johor PKR secretary Naim Jusri in Gambir and Zamil Najwah Arbain for Larkin.

Meanwhile, PKR’s Kota Anggerik assemblyman Najwan Halimi has slammed Muda for being “arrogant” over seat negotiations for the upcoming Johor state elections.

Najwan said PKR had previously offered three seats to Muda but the new party only wanted to contest in easy-to-win seats.

“We have bargained for three seats, but you (Muda) are being arrogant,” he tweeted today.

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“You want seats you consider safe to win because your party doesn’t have the machinery to compete in others.”

Najwan reminded Muda to be “more cultured” and respect other political parties.

“Don’t talk of bringing about a change in politics if you don’t understand the values of manners and respect for others,” the former Selangor PKR youth chief said.

PKR’s Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim also advised Syed Saddiq to be “careful and humble” with his words.

“Although Syed Saddiq is popular on social media and has a huge following online, he should remember that PKR was formed out of struggles and has survived many challenges in the past,” he said.