BUTTERWORTH: Penang Pakatan Harapan (PH) has been given a timeframe of one month to conclude talks and reach an agreement with Barisan Nasional (BN) on seat allocations for the upcoming state election.

Penang PH chairman Chow Kon Yeow (pix) said he received a directive from the coalition’s top leadership yesterday to start negotiations with BN.

“We have just received the directive to negotiate but we haven’t started. With the latest directive, we have a timeframe of one month from yesterday to conclude these negotiations.

“This process will be ongoing until an agreement can be achieved, we expect several rounds of discussions. The first round of negotiation will start with the PH component parties and after that, we will bring the negotiations to BN,“ he told a press conference at the Penang DAP Convention 2023 here today.

On whether Penang DAP has already started screening potential candidates for the polls, Chow, who is also state party chairman, said the party would first need to know how many seats it could contest.

Regardless, Chow said he hoped DAP would retain the 19 seats it now holds in Penang.

Meanwhile, in his opening speech at the convention earlier, DAP secretary-general, Anthony Loke said Penang plays a crucial part in ensuring the stability of the Unity Government.

“In just another few months, we will be facing another big challenge in the form of the state elections in six states, including Penang.

“This will set Penang’s direction and whether the Unity Government can continue administrating the state,” he said. - Bernama