Siti Kasim: I will back Harapan if there is a hung Parliament

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Batu MP aspirant Siti Zabedah Kasim said she would support Pakatan Harapan to form a new government in the event of a hung Parliament after the 15th general election (GE15).

Speaking to Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview, the independent candidate said she would be more likely to support Harapan in the event independent candidates like herself and her group from Gerak Independent win in GE15.

“Let’s say, if independents win, right? It becomes a hung government so the independents have a choice.

“Who do you think I will stand with? Do you think I will stand with BN or Perikatan Nasional (PN)? Of course, I will stand with Harapan and support them to form a government,” said Siti.

The human rights lawyer added that despite not being on the same page with Harapan on certain issues, she was more agreeable to Harapan as opposed to BN or Perikatan Nasional.

“So obviously I will support that (Harapan) but that doesn’t mean I will be following everything they say. Political parties have bosses,” said Siti, citing Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against a bloc vote during the Budget 2021 debates.

Siti’s planned to contest as an independent candidate for the Batu parliamentary seat in the general election – which is set for Nov 19.

Siti told Malaysiakini that she has no plans of joining a political party, and that she is standing as an independent candidate due to her wish to speak freely about “issues on the ground”.

She later said that if political parties in the country were reliable, she would not be contesting as an independent candidate in Batu.

“If our political parties are reliable, I won’t be standing as an independent. Why would I want to trouble myself with all this?

“I have to go and beg people for money. You think it’s easy? It’s not easy.

“It’s not much but enough for me to run my campaign. I won’t be rich like the political parties who have millions. I don’t get millions but with proper planning, you can run a campaign with RM50,000.

“Of course, I will just use whatever I have, just do what I can,” she said.

On funding, Siti said that her campaign funding is crowdfunded by the rakyat.

“People will say I get money from the Illuminati, the Jews, Israelis, etc. You can see the money that comes in because I have a dedicated account for it at the service centre.

“We have to audit that as well so once it’s done, I will publish it,” she stated.

Siti said that since the announcement of her candidacy, Gerak Independent has reached out to Harapan – namely DAP and Amanah.

She noted that the “pro-rakyat” Gerak Independent manifesto was even lauded by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

“So, if you think our manifesto is pro-rakyat and we seem to be aligned to your ideals, then why not give us the space?

“At least we are free to speak up in Parliament on things you may not be able to say,” she said.

Citing an example, Siti said it may be difficult for the DAP to speak on Islamic issues, which was not a problem for her.

“I don’t think DAP can talk about what I do – about the use of Islam. There would be a lot of condemnation against them.

“For me as a Malay, I have the right to speak up about it, and I think a lot of Malays agree with me.


“I do believe that I have a better chance of speaking up in Parliament on issues that really affect all of us,” she said.

Siti, who has long been involved in the fight for Orang Asli rights as a pro bono lawyer – criticised the nation’s politicians for failing to uphold their rights, questioning why the Federal Constitution has not been amended to protect rights to their ancestral land.

“Who are the losers? Not just the Orang Asli but everyone. Our water comes from the forests and it will be affected by pollution and everything else – oil, pesticides and poison, all in our waters.

“This is something I will not stop talking about. I will make sure that it will be heard in Parliament and I would probably propose a bill to make this into a proper law. At least, once we have that, the Orang Asli lives will be well taken care of.

“We have to keep on challenging the status quo and a lot of lawyers do it pro bono. There will be more lawyers like me.

“Helping the Orang Asli also helps us, as it also involves our environment and the protection of our animals,” she added. – Malaysiakini