Parti Sosialis Malaysia is opening up a service centre in Jelutong, widening its sphere of influence in Penang and adding to the political discourse its idea of an alternative people-friendly economic framework for the state.
The opening up of the service centre in the working-class parliamentary seat of Jelutong (to add to its earlier presence in Bayan Baru) will not go unnoticed. The state seats of Dato Keramat, Batu Lanchang and Sungai Pinang fall within Jelutong, the bastion of the late Tiger of Jelutong, Karpal Singh. It is into this lion’s den that PSM is venturing.
While it remains to be seen if the party will actually contest a state seat in Penang in this year’s general election, the party probably is taking a longer term view into the next decade. So far, we know Parti Rakyat Malaysia is likely to provide three-corner contests in a string of state seats here, with Tanjung Bungah likely to be the focal point.
PSM could test the waters in Penang in this election. In future general elections after the coming one, it could provide a real alternative to the existing mainstream parties in Penang. It remains to be seen if the people of Penang will buy into the party’s alternative to the prevailing corporate-driven (and in the case of Penang, developer-driven) neoliberal economic framework. Already, we can see pockets of disgruntlement around the state.
The party may not make much headway in Penang in this coming election, but going by its track record of tenacious persistence, it is here to stay.