PSM has supporters, but not enough to change country’s political arena – Experts
SHAH ALAM - Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is very vocal on social media about helping the masses, especially among the marginalised communities and many internet users have urged the party to place more candidates in the Klang Valley as they would like to have the chance to vote for PSM.
However, PSM recently announced that it would only contest in two seats for the 15th General Election (GE15) as well as not placing candidates in seats currently held by Pakatan Harapan.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Deputy Director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies Associate Professor Dr Kartini Aboo Talib, when asked if PSM could win and bring a change in the country’s political arena said it was impossible for PSM to create a new wave of political change if the party is only contesting for two seats.
“The party was established in 1998 and has yet to prove its relevance.
“They can continue scrutinising the government and institution, but most Malaysians reject anything of socialism, communism or marxism that has been viewed for a long time as radical and violent,” she told Sinar Daily when contacted.
Commenting further, Kartini said she would not encourage PSM to contest in urban seats due to the sentiments of fighting communists in the 50s and 60s.
She said that the matter still dominated most peoples’ bitter memories.
“The film Bukit Kepong will continue invoking anti-feelings towards communists via PSM.
“(However) Bawani (KS Bawani) in Ayer Kuning, Perak and Tinagaran (S Tinagaran) in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan can try their luck,” she said.
Weighing on the same issue, political analyst Ibrahim Suffian was under the view that PSM did have some supporters within the mixed urban crowd but the numbers were fairly small at this time.
He added that the larger parties were still dominant and their membership as well as supporters, would figure more significantly in the election.
“Given that Malaysian voters are largely traditional and politically conservative in their outlook, more progressive or liberal topics will take more time to gain traction with the masses.
“Although PSM’s social justice agenda does strike a chord with many people, it will take more to win people over to their causes,” he said briefly.