Malaysia election: Opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang hopes Pakatan Harapan can win more than 119 seats

Democratic Action Party adviser Lim Kit Siang (right) being ushered to the stage at the Pakatan Harapan rally in Kulai, on April 20, 2018. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SENAI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Opposition stalwart and Democratic Action Party adviser Lim Kit Siang has said he hopes his Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance can win more than 119 parliamentary seats in Malaysia's general election.

A total of 222 parliamentary seats are being contested at the May 9 election, with 112 seats needed to win a simple majority.

The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition had 131 seats when Parliament was dissolved last month, while the four-party PH alliance had 72.

Lim said he had initially hoped that the PH would be able to win 120 seats at the election, but had revised his target to 119 after opposition politician Tian Chua was disqualified from running for the Batu seat in the northern outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Following Tian Chua's disqualification from the Batu seat, the PH endorsed independent candidate P. Prabakaran for the seat.

"Originally, I was hoping for 120 seats prior to Tian Chua's disqualification from the Batu parliamentary seat," he told reporters at Senai airport. "But we have just endorsed a Batu Independent candidate. So we'll see how that goes," he said.

Asked if he would consider working with the Parti Islam SeMalaysia, a former member of the opposition alliance - then known as Pakatan Rakyat - which left the pact in 2015, Lim said: "We don't need to be too hypothetical. Right now, we are focusing on winning over half of the seats."

Lim also denied claims that the opposition would jeopardise ties with China, saying that the PH would preserve economic and diplomatic ties with the country.

He also admitted that it would be difficult for the opposition to swing votes in Johor, saying that he told the Iskandar Puteri constituents that the "future is up to them".

"To say that I am very confident about Iskandar Puteri is not correct. This election is not about individuals or parties; it is for the entire Pakatan," he added.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.