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Sunday, April 30, 2017

PKR: General election may be called in October

Feel-good factor from SEA Games and double national day celebrations - Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day - in August through September best timing, says PKR lawmaker.
baru-bian-pkrKUCHING: A dose of positive sentiment from national day celebrations and the SEA Games may see Prime Minister Najib Razak calling for the next general election (GE14) in October, says a PKR lawmaker.
Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian said the double celebration of the 60th Merdeka Day on Aug 31 and Malaysia Day on Sept 16, with the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 19-30 might be too much of a feel-good factor for the PM to ignore.
“I’ve been informed that the closest time that the general election would be called is October. It is the most appropriate time for them (the ruling government),” Hee said during his opening speech to Sarawak PKR’s convention here today.
“Why? Because it is just after the SEA Games. It is the most appropriate time for them. They want to use this opportunity to take advantage of the festivities after the Hari Raya celebrations, after the big celebration for the 60th Merdeka Day.”
“And they are planning to hold a giant gathering for the Sept 16 celebrations or Hari Malaysia. They want to hold it right after the SEA Games concludes to ensure they get the support of the young people,” Hee said.
The PKR convention was attended by Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian, state party leaders and several hundred party members.
Hee said there were other indications that the election is round the corner. Other months suggested by Hee are June and August.
“There are signs GE14 is extremely close. We know this because in Selangor we got our indication from the Election Commission (EC), that they are planning to rent halls and inform local council members on preparations. Everything is ready and they are just waiting for the date,” Hee said.
“I feel October is the most likely, in my opinion. It is the best time for them to hold an election. It’s only six months away,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hee said Selangor PKR still have relations with PAS as the latter has representation in the Selangor government.
“I call on our party members here not to be alarmed. I hope you are not swayed by false impressions on why PKR still has a relationship with PAS even though PAS is not in Pakatan Harapan.”
On the seat negotiations with Amanah and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Hee called on party members to be mindful of other opposition components when negotiating for seats.
“We are ready to give up our seats, the ones we have not won. We are ready to surrender them to other component parties such as Amanah, and this has made many PKR members upset.”
“But people forget that it was DAP and PAS who gave us their seats, especially the mixed-seats which they had never won. We tried in 1999 and 2004. But it was in 2008 that we won big in Selangor and became the second largest party after Umno,” Hee said.
Hee, however, criticised a recent public squabble over the Parliamentary seat of Miri, which is held by PKR’s Dr Michael Teo.
“I am disappointed by the actions of a Pakatan Harapan component that requested that a seat be swapped,” Hee said.
“I don’t think that was a wise move. We should have discussed it first within Pakatan Harapan. Don’t let your desire for the seat let you make demands for it from PKR. We already won it.”
In January, DAP’s Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon told reporters that the DAP would be in a better position to win the seat.
Ting claimed Miri voters were dissatisfied with Teo’s performance and hoped that “DAP can be chosen as the candidate in the interest of the Pakatan Harapan pact”.
Howevever, Hee said there was a better way to deal with the issue.
“They should not have called for Dr Teo to withdraw. This is not the proper way to treat a friend in Pakatan Harapan. We should respect one another.
“We can always discuss it (privately). It is okay. But not to the point of airing the matter to the media, making demands for the seat,” Hee said. -FMT

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