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Leftist parties explore cooperation

PETALING JAYA, 14 Nov 2008: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) will not be considering a merger in the near future.

However, the two parties are in discussions on how to cooperate more effectively on their future programmes, given their common ideology and history, said newly elected PRM president Hassan Karim.  

PSM national chairperson Dr Nasir Hashim agreed. “We can discuss different ways to cooperate, for example, [by] forming a coalition. PSM also continues to cooperate with the Pakatan Rakyat parties on issues like human rights,” he told The Nut Graph.

PSM was registered as a political party by the Registrar of Societies on 19 Aug 2008, 10 years after submitting its application. Two PSM candidates successfully became elected representatives in the 8 March general election: Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj for the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat, and Nasir for the Kota Damansara state assembly seat.

In 2003, PRM and Parti Keadilan Nasional merged to form Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). However, a group of PRM dissidents convened in 2005 to revive the party (which was not de-registered) and elect its new leadership.

PRM contested in the March 2008 general election but did not win any seats. The party held its 40th national congress on 9 Nov and elected its 2008-2009 leadership.

Nasir acknowledged that cooperation between the two parties is timely as there is a global resurgence of leftist parties. Both PSM and PRM remain in the opposition, although neither has joined the Pakatan Rakyat.

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