IPOH, Jan 12 — Pakatan Harapan is still hoping that Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar will contest under their ticket in the upcoming general election.
Despite Jeyakumar's decision to contest under the Parti Sosialis Malaysia banner, sources inside Pakatan say the coalition feels he stands a better chance of victory on a PKR ticket.
A high-ranking party insider told Malay Mail that Jeyakumar was still the best man for the job.
“The ideal situation is for Dr Jeyakumar to contest under the PKR ticket. At the moment, we would rather not contest,” the source said.
“However, if he doesn't do so, there will be a lot of pressure from party members. They will not be happy, so its a tricky situation.
“But then again, a multi-cornered fight might end up hurting both parties,” he added.
According to reports in an English daily, Sungai Siput is expected to be one of the seats contested by PKR.
Previously, DAP had also expressed an interest in contesting the seat.
Malay Mail learned that previous bilateral talks between DAP and PSM over the matter had not worked out.
However, the source said that PKR was prepared to negotiate with PSM over the matter.
“There is a lot of respect for his work and PSM's work in Sungai Siput. But it's about increasing the chances of victory,” he said.
“Barisan could find it easy to demonise Dr Jeyakumar and PSM, and this is what concerns us.”
Meanwhile, he added that MCA secretary-general and Tanjong Malim MP Ong Ka Chuan's reported decision to opt out of the election would not affect Pakatan's strategy in the constituency.
He said MCA was heavily dependent on Umno's assistance in Tanjung Malim, which has a majority of Malay voters.
“We aren't sure how credible the news is, especially as Ong himself has not made a statement.
“However, Chinese voters only make up 25 per cent of the population in Tanjung Malim. For now, our strategy will not change because MCA is not that significant there.”