By EMBUN MAJID firstname.lastname@example.org
ALOR SETAR: The Kedah DAP was conspicuously missing from the state Pakatan Rakyat candidacy announcement ceremony sparking talk that a rift within the coalition has yet to be mended.
Despite Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak acknowledging the DAP leaders in his speech, state DAP chairman Lee Guan Aik and his party colleagues were nowhere to be seen at the gathering held at the state PAS headquarters on Wednes-day night.
DAP had earlier expressed its intention to contest at least four state seats - Derga, Bakar Bata, Bakar Arang and Kota Darulaman — and one parliamentary seat, Alor Setar.
But during the ceremony, both PAS and PKR announced that they were each contesting eight and seven parliamentary seats, and 24 and 10 state seats, respectively, including Bakar Bata and Bakar Arang, and also Alor Setar, the three seats which the DAP had earmarked.
There are 15 parliamentary seats and 36 state seats in Kedah.
In the 2008 general election, DAP contested in Derga, which Lee won, and Kota Darulaman state seat.
PKR state elections director Senator Saiful Izham Ramli when met said the party was contesting Langkawi, Alor Setar, Kuala Kedah, Merbok, Sungai Petani, Padang Serai and Kulim-Bandar Baharu parliamentary seats.
They are also contesting the Kuah, Bukit Kayu Hitam, Pedu, Bakar Bata, Gurun, Bukit Selambau, Bakar Arang, Sidam, Lunas and Kulim state seats, he added.
When asked if the party was giving the Derga seat which saw a three-way fight among DAP, PKR and Barisan in 2008 to DAP, Saiful Izham said no final decision had been made.
“I am here to announce the 10 state seats and seven parliamentary seats we are contesting. The party leaders will decide on the Derga seat,” he said.
Meanwhile, three PKR and one PAS members of the state exco were dropped from the Pakatan list of candidates.
They are PKR Bukit Selambau incumbent Datuk S. Manikumar, PKR Kulim incumbent Lim Soo Nee, PKR Sidam incumbent Tan Chow Kang @ Tan Joo Long and PAS Tanjung Dawai incumbent Datuk Dr Hamdan Mohamed Khalib.
Also dropped was the PKR Merbok parliamentary incumbent Datuk Rashid Din.
Saiful Izham said the changes were a normal practice in the party.
Also not on the list were two PAS parliamentary incumbents Datuk Taib Azamuden Md Taib for Baling and Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman for Pendang.
Azizan said Dr Hamdan and Dr Mohd Hayati had requested to be dropped since they wanted to focus on their medical practices while Taib Azamuden was dropped due to his health.
Azizan also said PAS would have 10 new faces in two parliamentary seats and eight state seats.
He added that Alor Mengkudu incumbent Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh would be moved to contest the Jerlun parliamentary seat.
Azizan and his deputy Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi would be defen-ding their Sungai Limau and Pengka-lan Kundor state seats respectively.
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