KOTA TINGGI, Feb 26 — PKR election director Fuziah Salleh believes her party has shown its maturity by refusing to “retaliate” against fellow Opposition party Muda in the Johor election.
The Kuantan MP said that her party’s grassroots members were “hurt” by Muda’s decision to run for the Larkin state seat, but the PKR leadership chose to put its foot down on tit-for-tat tactics by putting up candidates where the newer party would also be contesting.
“When Muda made a decision to clash in Larkin, they didn’t show the spirit of cooperation.
“But PKR is a mature party and we are thinking about the people.
“In the end, we made a smarter move to not field our candidates in their seats,” Fuziah said when met at PKR’s Pasir Raja operations centre today after nominations for the Johor election closed, signalling the start to official campaigning.
On February 24, Muda announced that its Johor information chief Rasid Abu Bakar would be its candidate for Larkin, where PKR has already announced Dr Zamil Najwah Arbain as its candidate.
Prior to nomination, the two parties had been friendly to each other as Muda’s president Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman had once been a minister in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition federal government, of which PKR is a coalition.
Before the Johor election began, the other PH components, DAP and Amanah, held discussions with Muda and it was decided that the fledgling party would run in six seats so as to avoid overlaps among the Opposition front.
PKR Johor chief Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh on February 25 said the party will not “infringe” on seats allocated to its PH partners and those offered to Muda in the Johor election as a sign of respect to both DAP and Amanah.
The battle for Larkin is now a six-way fight with the Election Commission confirming candidates from Muda, PKR, and one more Opposition party, Pejuang with Barisan Nasional (BN), Perikatan Nasional (PN) and an independent thrown into the ring.
Muda and PKR aside, the other four candidates are Mohd Hairi Mad Shah who is Johor Umno Youth chief representing BN, former journalist Zulkifli Bujang from Bersatu representing PN, Pejuang’s Mohamad Riadz Mohamad Hashim, and 46-year-old religious preacher Norramadan Buan who is the independent.
PKR’s Dr Zamil is the only candidate out of the six who has contested before under PKR in the previous 14th general election in Tanjung Surat in 2018.
The Larkin state seat is mainly an urban seat located in the Johor Baru city.
In GE14, Larkin was won by Mohd Izhar Ahmad from Bersatu as a component party of the PH coalition, with a majority of 8,590 votes. He defeated BN’s Datuk Yahya Ja’far and Zakiah Tukirin from PAS in a three-way contest.