Saifuddin Nasution’s appointment as special adviser to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng can help cement ties between PKR and DAP.
It can also paint a more Malay-friendly image of DAP, said Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.
“Saifuddin, being the PKR secretary-general, can help strengthen DAP’s relationship with the Malays.“It will also improve Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) internal unity, especially in the next general election,” he told FMT.
Penang newsletter Buletin Mutiara yesterday reported Saifuddin’s low-key swearing-in ceremony witnessed by Lim and state secretary Farizan Darus.
Ramasamy said while the appointment was a positive move for the state, some had politicised the issue and claimed it was yet another example of PKR’s subservience to DAP.
“It shouldn’t be looked at that way. With the appointment, PH can enter the election with a more united front,” he added.
Penang DAP vice-chairman Zairil Khir Johari, when contacted, said Saifuddin was a respected leader and a good communicator with plenty of experience.
“He can help communicate our policies better and can certainly advise (Lim) on many public policy issues.”
PKR vice-president Dr Xavier Jayakumar echoed Zairil’s sentiment and expressed confidence that the party would still come first for Saifuddin despite his heavier workload.
“Whatever working relationship we can aspire to have is good for the opposition.
“And I don’t think there will be any conflict of interest. He has always been a loyal PKR member.”
Former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan said in a statement today that Lim had made a good move in appointing Saifuddin.
Khairuddin said he had noticed that support for PKR and Malay leaders in Penang had dwindled and he would not be surprised if PKR were to lose four or five state seats in the 14th General Election, if no drastic action was taken to win back the voters.
“This is a brave, smart, and strategic move on Lim’s part. Saifuddin is a young personality who has the capability to strengthen PKR’s Penang seats.
“Not only will this move guarantee PKR will retain its current seats, it may also give them more seats.
“This will benefit both PKR and PH,” he said.
Source : Nawar Firdaws @ FMT Online