GEORGE TOWN, April 10 — Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) will field 18 candidates who will contest in 18 state and four parliamentary seats here for the general election.
Secretary-general Koh Swee Yong said it is time for the 63-year-old party to make bigger strides in its fight for the people and to be a viable alternative to both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan in the state.
“We have about 100 candidates who will be contesting in four states so this time, we want to make a difference and provide check and balance in Parliament and state assemblies,” he said.
PRM will field about 80 candidates for state seats in Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Sabah and 20 parliamentary seats.
“If we look at our party history, we were a formidable opposition back in the 1950s and 1960s so we hope to bring back those glory days this election,” Koh said.
He denied accusations that the party was paid by BN and Umno to split the Opposition vote in some seats.
“Our party don’t have much funds so we were obviously not paid to do this and let's not forget that PRM was formed in 1955, so we are an old party that has been around, even before DAP or PKR were formed,” he said.
He also denied allegations by former Penang PRM president, Datuk Gary Nair, that the national congress committee breached the party’s constitution by deferring the party’s national congress.
When asked how the party plans fund its election campaign, he said each candidate must pay his own way.
“It would cost about RM20,000 for each candidate to contest including the deposit but I believe some of the candidates are collecting donations to cover the costs of the campaign,” he said.
He also said his party will accept anyone interested in running on the party’s ticket.
Penang PRM chairman Tang Hiang Lye said they had wanted to contest 30 seats, but could not find the candidates.
“There are many issues that the people are facing now such as environmental issues, floods and housing issues that we can raise,” he said.
He said the Penang PRM manifesto will address Penang's housing issues, adding that there was growing demand for a party that is neither with BN or PH.
PRM will contest in Penaga, Permatang Berangan, Telok Ayer Tawar, Sungai Puyu, Bagan Jermal, Bagan Dalam, Berapit, Machang Bubuk, Padang Lallang, Perai, Bukit Tengah, Bukit Tambun, Jawi, Sungai Bakap, Sungai Acheh, Tanjung Bungah, Pengkalan Kota and Bayan Lepas.
Four of the candidates will also contest for the federal seats in Tasek Gelugor, Bagan, Batu Kawan and Nibong Tebal.
The Election Commission announced today that the 14th general election will take place on May 9.