Stop poaching our members, Amanah chides partners

Mohd Farhan Darwis

Pakatan Harapan veep Salahuddin Ayub says defectors will lose the right to contest in the seats they won. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, March 10, 2021.

AMANAH will continue to support Pakatan Harapan (PH) as it is an important political coalition for the party, said its deputy president, Salahuddin Ayub.

He, however, urges PH partners not to entice Amanah members and lawmakers to defect.

To date, five Amanah assemblymen – two from Selangor and three from Johor – have joined PKR.

This has caused tension among leaders of both parties.

Salahuddin, who is also PH vice-president, said the matter was raised at the recent presidential council meeting, where it was decided that parties would not accept members of another coalition partner.

Seats won by the defectors will be contested by the original party and not the lawmaker who had switched parties.

“We decided that PH parties cannot accept members of a coalition partner. This is done to preserve harmony and friendship in PH.

“PH’s understanding is that they can leave but the seat will still be contested by the party that contested in the last general election… unless there are certain cases where there can be a change of seats.

“We want to take care of our relationship, which is why we have this new rule,” Salahuddin told The Malaysian Insight.

He also said elected reps from Amanah leaving to join PKR was due to individual factors and not party-related.

“Amanah is also looking into why they left the party. We are doing a survey and for me, there may be weaknesses in the party, and also the individuals who jumped.

“But what we can be sure of now is that they are all individuals, not groups. They did not bring their friends out of the party. They left on their own.”

Strengthening Pakatan

Salahuddin said the three-party coalition of Amanah, PKR and DAP is also aware of their role.

Amanah is ready to play a role in strengthening PH, including its cooperation with other parties outside the coalition, he said.

“Being a partner in PH is very important for Amanah because we cannot be alone, so we always strengthen good relations and forge concrete friendships, hoping that PH will be the people’s choice.

“We have decided to hold a retreat to determine PH’s direction, and Amanah is ready to give our thoughts to build and maintain good ties.”

The Pulai MP said the future of Amanah, which now has about 150,000 members, also depends on PH’s strengths.

The party will bring its idea to form a grand opposition coalition.

“We will discuss in the retreat, whether PH will only consist of three parties, include Warisan or be a grand coalition.”

Hoping for more seats

Salahuddin, who is also Simpang Jeram assemblyman, said Amanah hopes to contest in more parliamentary and state seats in the next elections.

“We will try to increase the number of seats at the federal and state levels. In GE14, we contested in 27 parliamentary seats but we will push to increase our seats in the next polls.

“At the same time, we will make sure the contested seats can be won.

“We won 11 parliamentary seats in GE14. After this, we aim to win more than that,” he said, adding that this is one important approach for Amanah to position itself with other partners in PH. – March 10, 2021.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.