PKR’s Lumut MP Mohamad Imran Abd Hamid said he was saddened that his party’s leadership agreed to surrender his seat to Amanah for the coming general election, but said he will abide by the decision.
“If you ask me, I would say that I disagree with the decision. But we have leaders.
“As a lower-rung leader, as a division chief, if that is the central leadership’s decision, then we have to abide by it.
“Furthermore, the decision was made by the Pakatan Harapan leadership, so I stand by it in the interest of Harapan’s unity,” the retired Navy First Admiral told Malaysiakini when contacted.
Harapan, in its parliamentary seat negotiation process, had resolved that no seats already held by the respective component parties would be traded.
However, Lumut was the only exception.
PKR’s willingness to concede the seat was likely due to the anticipation that the redelineation will be completed before the general election.
Under the redelineation, the opposition-held state seat of Sitiawan will be removed from the Lumut parliamentary constituency, and placed under Beruas, a neighbouring parliamentary seat held by DAP.
Imran won the Lumut seat with a 8,168-vote majority in the last general election.
The Sitiawan state seat was the only state constituency within Lumut that was won by the opposition, with a 11,820-vote majority.
The other two state seats, Pasir Panjang and Pangkor, were both won by BN.
The move would also turn Lumut into a heavily Malay-majority constituency.
PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli had revealed that among the ground rules of the seat negotiations were that heavily Malay-majority seats would go to Bersatu or Amanah.
Earlier today, a PKR Lumut grassroots member Mohd Zairas, in a statement, criticised the decision to surrender the seat to Amanah.
Imran conceded that there was anger within the party’s grassroots, but urged party members to toe the line and be magnanimous nonetheless.
“It doesn’t matter who contests in Lumut, what’s important is that we defeat BN,” he said.
Tumpat to Bersatu
Another parliamentary seat that PKR surrendered was Tumpat, but unlike Lumut, PKR did not win the seat in the 13th general election.
This is because the seat was won by Kamaruddin Jaafar under a PAS banner, with the lawmaker only later making the switch to PKR.
For the coming general election, the Tumpat seat has been allocated to Bersatu.
When contacted, Kamaruddin said he accepted the decision.
“I can accept it even though I have been the MP for Tumpat for four terms,” he told Malaysiakini.
Despite losing his seat, Kamaruddin said he was hopeful that Bersatu could win if all Harapan component parties worked together, adding that he was part of the team that negotiated seat distribution.
Asked whether Imran would be allocated another parliamentary seat, he said it was up to the PKR leadership to decide.
Last Saturday, Harapan concluded the parliamentary seat allocation process for peninsular Malaysia, with the decision being announced at last Sunday’s Harapan convention.
Under the arrangement, Bersatu would get 52 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, followed by 51 for PKR, 35 for DAP and 27 for Amanah.