PETALING JAYA, JUNE 12- Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)’s bid to join Pakatan Rakyat ultimately lies with the rakyat’s support, several political analysts said today.
They made this statement today in response to PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan’s revelation yesterday that his party was not aware that their application to join Pakatan was rejected until it was reported by The Star Online.
“In politics, if you are popular and you have the people’s support, then everybody wants you in their team,” Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Associated Professor James Gomez told FMT.
“If you can’t gather support then people won’t want you in their team. These are realities of party politics. Ultimately, the public will decide,” he added.
Penang Institute fellow Wong Chin Huat mirrored Gomez’s sentiments and said that the current challenge “lies in what extent PSM can be more mainstream in getting Malaysian support”.
“A year before election, PSM was in stronger negotiating position (with Sg Siput and Kota Damansara parliamentary seats), but now their position is lesser than before (having won only Sg Siput in GE13),” he explained.
“However, if they can become mainstream, then there would be pressure to accept PSM. If they remain marginalised, then Pakatan has a cause to ignore them. This is real politics,” he added.
However, Wong admitted that Pakatan was acting in a “self-centred way” by marginalising PSM as the latter “is so small so Pakatan sees no real value to include them”.
“If Pakatan continues to marginalise PSM, then the problem lies with Pakatan and not PSM,” he said.
“However, I think it is a very wise position for PSM to remain Pakatan-friendly. Right now it is about regime change rather than any other issue,” he lamented.
“However, PSM must try to garner more support among the public if they want to be a part of a bigger coalition,” he reiterated.
‘Not too late for PSM’
Merdeka Centre executive director Ibrahim Suffian said there was plenty of time for Pakatan and PSM to address their respective needs.
“The reason for rejection is the difference of opinions on socialism within Pakatan itself. It is a reflection of weakness and Pakatan cannot come to realities on the ground,” he said.
“But they need to sort it out and work it out because PSM is reality in some places,” he added.
Ibrahim strongly believed that the issue would be resolved in a “matter of time”, but noted there was no rush to come to an immediate solution.
“We’re not expecting an election to happen soon, so there is plenty of time for matters to be addressed.”