Can't compare Penang state polls to by-elections, PKR tells Guan Eng

Modified 25 Jul 2016, 2:54 pm

It is inaccurate for DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to compare Penang snap polls with by-elections which PKR had allegedly triggered without consulting coalition partners, said party communications director Fahmi Fadzil.

Lim earlier said DAP will demonstrate that it is a reliable partner by seeking consensus on snap polls in Penang, although some note that PKR did not do the same in Permatang Pauh, Penanti and Kajang by-elections.

Fahmi said snap polls in Penang affects 40 seats, and has implications on more than one party.

This is unlike the three by-elections mentioned by Lim which only had immediate impact on PKR, which contested the polls, he said.

"Keadilan has always been a consistent partner in political coalitions, be it Barisan Alternatif, Pakatan Rakyat or Pakatan Harapan.

"We have always consulted with, listened to, and acted upon concerns raised by our coalition partners, and will continue to do so in order to work together towards building a better Malaysia," he said.

Fahmi added that the Permatang Pauh by-elections in 2008 and 2015 was due to "the unending political persecution" of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The by-election in 2008 was triggered by the incumbent's resignation to allow Anwar to return to Parliament, after serving the five-year ban from contesting in an election following his incarceration, he said.

The by-election in 2015 was triggered when Anwar was sent to jail for the second time.

Fahmi said the Penanti polls in 2009 was in response to DAP's concern over a non-performing assemblyperson, while there had been multiple discussions with DAP and Pakatan Rakyat leaders over the 2014 Kajang by-election.

"After the rationale for the by-election was presented, the DAP leadership was supportive of the move to strengthen the Pakatan administration in Selangor," he said.

DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua yesterday said snap polls in Penang could give the electorate a say in Lim's "political victimisation".

Lim was last month charged with corruption over the purchase of a bungalow below the market price.

PKR could lose seats in Malay majority areas if Penang election is called, given the likelihood of multi-corner fights involving PAS, political analyst Faisal Hazis.

PKR has expressed misgivings over the snap polls proposal and said it is yet unconvinced there is a need to dissolve the state assembly.