By Samuel Chua, Free Malaysia Today (6 March 2022)
PETALING JAYA: For many PKR members, Pakatan Harapan’s logo is a sore reminder of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time in the former ruling coalition, says a party leader explaining why PKR is contesting the Johor elections using its own logo.
PKR strategist Wong Chen said the decision made the party grassroots feel happier overall and the campaign team on the ground is happier and more committed.
“Most of our grassroots think of the PH logo as part of Dr Mahathir’s time in Pakatan, when to be fair (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim and all of us were not inside,” he said.
Mahathir’s Cabinet had contained PKR leaders who were aligned to former deputy president Azmin Ali, who led other PKR members and MPs out of the party in the “Sheraton Move” that ultimately led to the collapse of the PH government.
He said it was thus important for PKR to use its own logo for the elections. However PH partners DAP and Amanah have voiced their disagreement and will continue using the PH logo.
“So that’s why it’s very hard to explain to our partners DAP and Amanah sometimes, but we hope they understand our point of view.”
Wong Chen said he believed the party, in using its own logo, was more united following Azmin’s exit from the party. “Voters tend to vote for you if your team is more united and more committed.”
On whether PKR is losing its relevance after being wiped out in Melaka and Sarawak, Wong Chen said he did not believe so, though he conceded the party faced challenges following the Azmin-led exodus.
“That was a sense of betrayal and when something big like this happens to the party, of course the public opinion of it drops dramatically.
“It’s quite good in a way that these people were interested in power and their positions more than the love for the party or what we stand for, our philosophy for social justice, so they have left and that is good.”
Still, Wong Chen said the Sheraton Move damaged the party’s image and this was among the reasons they were punished by voters in Melaka and Sarawak. He added that it will take time for the party to recover.