PONTIAN: Two top Pakatan Harapan leaders reminded several DAP members who were disgruntled with the coalition’s top leadership to put aside their differences and aid campaign for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Parti Amanah Negara communications director Khalid Abdul Samad said the bigger responsibility on the shoulders of PH party members was to ensure victory at the polls.
The home minister said the PH candidate, Karmaine Sardini, is representing all of the coalition’s components.
“Let’s be realistic. We can’t expect a 100 per cent satisfaction (over several issues). But I do hope they (dissatisfied DAP members) understand that we are fielding a PH candidate here.
“Regardless if you are from DAP, PKR, Bersatu or Amanah, you should put aside your unhappiness and think of your responsibility (to campaign for PH).
“I hope that if there are still those who are unhappy, don’t do this (sabotage against the coalition’s campaign). This is about PH,” Muhyiddin said a media conference today.
Meanwhile, Khalid said the disgruntled DAP members, while representing only a small lot of the party, did not understand the political ramifications of their sentiments.
However, Khalid remained confident the dissatisfaction was not echoed by DAP’s top leadership. He also reminded DAP of the chances of MCA regaining clout in the country’s political arena.
“Since the Barisan Nasional candidate is from MCA, I believe it is important for DAP to ensure MCA’s defeat.
“If there is anyone (from DAP) who refuses to support (PH’s campaign), they are only part of a small minority who doesn’t understand the political implication in this case.
“I believe the party leadership understands that MCA is trying to make a comeback so DAP will look at this matter seriously that (MCA) must be defeated.”
On Tuesday, the New Straits Times reported that there is a detachment between the DAP Central Executive Committee, particularly its 13 cabinet members, and their grassroots leaders and ground supporters.
Due to several reasons, including the country’s economic performance, the arrest of two DAP leaders for their alleged links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka and the controversial “Superman” Hew’s comic book, this had led to discontent among DAP grassroots.
Skudai DAP assemblyman Tan Hong Pin recently admitted that there was frustration among grassroots members and implied that there was sabotage in the party’s machinery.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had also said these problems were a chink in their armour, not denying that there was “unhappiness” in the party and the PH coalition.
On PH’s campaign, Muhyiddin said based on data gathered, there were 12 per cent fence-sitters in Tanjung Piai and most of them are between the age group of 35 to 45-years-old.
The PH machinery is canvassing support from fence-sitters for the Nov 16 by-election.
“I think they will decide on one or two days. We have also received reports that things are looking good for PH.
“Responses from the Malay, Chinese and Indian voters are in our favour of late and I believe it is because of our leaders’ efforts in going to the ground to explain on ongoing national issues to the electorate.
“This is really good news but we cannot rest on our laurels. We still have two days because these are the most critical period.”
Muhyiddin also said up to 8,000 outstation voters have yet to return to Tanjung Piai.
“As for the voters’ turnout, based on our conversations with the voters here, it looks like almost 100 per cent of them are coming out to vote.
“The rest would be up to the outstation voters, whether or not they will be coming back home.”
The Tanjung Piai seat fell vacant after its incumbent Datuk Dr Mohd Farid Mohd Rafik who was also deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department, died on Sept 21 due to heart complications.
In the 14th general election, Dr Farid of PH won the seat after polling 21,255 votes to defeat Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng of BN (20,731 votes) and Pas candidate Nordin Othman (2,962 votes).
The upcoming by-election will see a six-cornered fight. Aside from Karmaine and Wee, those contesting are Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) and two independent candidates, Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghani.