Use of PKR logo a “tactical” move, not indicative of cracks in opposition

29 Jan 2022 04:39am
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil and Amanah's Information Chief Khalid Samad both dismissed claims cracks were forming in PH as the different logos are used for the Johor state election. - Photo by Bernama.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil and Amanah's Information Chief Khalid Samad both dismissed claims cracks were forming in PH as the different logos are used for the Johor state election. - Photo by Bernama.
SHAH ALAM – The decision of PKR to use its own logo in the upcoming Johor state elections is a “tactical” decision meant to consolidate support for the party, says party communications director Fahmi Fadzil.

Fahmi explained that the decision was discussed and agreed upon by the PH Presidential Council recently and he subsequently dismissed any assertions that PKR’s decision is indicative of cracks forming in the political coalition.

“This is a tactical decision that was requested by PKR grassroots, discussed at the presidential council meeting and agreed upon.

“It is easy to simply cast allegations and say that there are growing divisions within Pakatan because of this but that is not the case at all,’’ he said during a recent interview with Sinar Daily.

Fahmi also explained that PKR grassroots felt it was necessary for them to use their party logo which many think it would be much more appealing to communities in rural seats.

Fahmi further explain that Amanah, PKR and DAP had all used their own party logo during the recent Sarawak state election and it was done based on their political assessment at the time.

PH parties had also adopted the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) logo during the Sabah state election in 2020, said Fahmi.

“So there is no problem as this has been done before based on their tactical assessment at the time,’’ he said.

Speaking to Sinar Daily is also Amanah Information chief Khalid Samad, who also dismissed any allegations of a growing rift within the coalition based on the differing use of logos in the upcoming Johor state election.
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Khalid said PKR had asked to use their own logo before in the Melaka state election but was turned down but the coalition leadership had agreed to the request by PKR grassroots for Johor instead.

“Previously PKR grassroots had asked for their logo to be used in the Melaka state election but it was turned down so this time, PH leaders had agreed to PKR’s request for the upcoming Johor state election.

“Ultimately, it is not a problem as we all have agreed to it,’’ he said.

Khalid also explained that the request made by PKR is essentially a test of the party’s overall appeal and whether they could leverage their brand to garner even more support.

“It is a litmus test for PKR as they wanted to gauge their strength by using their own logo. So all will see after the election on whether this decision will bear the desired result,’’ he said.

Khalid explained that for the Johor state election, PH will contest in all 56 seats, where 20 will be given to Amanah and PKR respectively and 16 for the DAP.

Khalid also explained that PH is willing to cooperate with other opposition parties such as Warisan and Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), however, discussion for seat allocations is done directly between the component party contesting in said seat with any other party wishing to contest in the same seat.

PKR’s muddle image in PH

Despite both PH lawmakers dismissing allegations of division forming within their coalition, weighing in on the matter is also Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs Oh Ei Sun who opined that PKR’s decision is merely an excuse to make up for their poor showing in both the Melaka and Sarawak state election.

“PKR is attempting to find convenient excuses for its catastrophic losses in both Melaka and Sarawak. One of its delusional narratives which perhaps only some of its most ardent supporters would believe - and nobody else - is alleged that voters could not recognize their party logo.

“They must have believed it so strongly that they want to try out in Johor with their own logo. It is actually quite insulting to their supporters for them to say the PH logo is confusing, as the logo clearly spells out Pakatan Harapan.

"So either they no longer feel like they are part of PH, or they think their supporters cannot read,’’ he said to Sinar Daily.

Oh further stated that PKR’s popularity and legitimacy in PH are waning particularly due to its leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s repeatedly tactical errors which have brought negative effects to the coalition as a whole.

“Problem with PKR now is that it has lost most of its lustre and legitimacy to lead in PH, with many defections and Anwar’s political blusters.

“But Anwar refuses to relinquish PH leadership and PKR actually had the guts to feel that DAP is dragging it down instead of the other way around. So if they feel so gung-ho, they are welcome to hitch their own way,’’ he said.

Another political analyst, Azmi Hassan, Senior Fellow at Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research, stated PKR’s justification that its logo is more appealing to rural voters is a hard sell for many political observers.

Azmi posited that voters in Johor, even in rural seats, are well versed enough to identify the parties contesting in their respective seats.

However, Azmi opined that the actual reasoning for PKR adamantly asking to use their own logo is to leverage the result of the upcoming state election and justify that their logo is more appealing compared to the PH logo.

Azmi also stated that there have always been issues of cohesion within the PH coalition but the issue remains that PKR has insisted for their logo to be used by the coalition for the next general elections.

“There are cracks but I don’t see the usage of the different logos as a translation from these cracks. PKR is adamant to use their own logo is because of their earlier demand for DAP and Amanah or Pakatan Harapan to use the PKR logo in GE15.

“I think PKR have seen the effects of using the Pakatan logo in the Melaka election and they have lost badly so they are trying again to use the PKR logo, trying to prove once and for all the symbol of PKR is way much better than Pakatan Harapan,’’ he said.