The Penang state assembly will not be dissolved until next year, as decided by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council meeting today, says DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
He said PH’s stance against dissolving the state assemblies of Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Penang this year should be maintained to avoid a situation that could create the perception of disunity within PH.
The Penang state assembly will be dissolved at a more conducive date, after the monsoon period, he added.
Loke said it had been a difficult decision and that he knew it would be disappointing for the Penang DAP leadership, which wanted the state assembly to be dissolved so that a state election could be held alongside the 15th general election following the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10.
“I have to disappoint my own (DAP) friends in Penang because I know that if we make a decision to dissolve the Penang state assembly, but not to dissolve the state assemblies in Negeri Sembilan and Selangor, that will be interpreted as breaking of ranks and can be used as a weapon that PH is not united and cannot make decisions collectively.
“I have to make this decision because the unity and integrity of PH moving into GE (general election) is paramount," Loke told a press conference after the PH Presidential Council meeting at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.
Also present were PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim, who is also PKR president, and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.
Loke said the DAP central executive council had met twice to discuss Penang DAP’s request for the dissolution of the state assembly, on the argument that the people did not want to vote twice.
"However, the top PH leadership decided to stick to the decision to postpone the dissolution of the state assemblies in Penang, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. In a pact, even though they don’t share the same view, the decision has to be collective,” he added.
Only Barisan Nasional-led Pahang and Perlis have dissolved their state assemblies, while Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, which are under PAS, have maintained their decision not to dissolve their state assemblies.
Meanwhile, Anwar said PH will decide on the use of the logo and seat distribution at its convention in Ipoh on Oct 20.