In February 2019, Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) gained high exposure in the media because the party contested in the Semenyih by-election. PSM appointed Nik Aziz Afiq as its candidate in the four-cornered battle; going against Zakaria Hanafi (BN), Muhammad Aiman Zanali (PH) and Kuan Chee Heng (Independent).
However, the media exposure on PSM witnessed a drastic reduction after the Semenyih by-election, which was held on March 2. According to the statistics, the number of news articles written on the party reduced from 535 news articles (March) to 17 news articles (April).
PSM made a slight improvement in media coverage during early May.
On the 1st of May, PSM made headlines when its deputy chairman Sarasvathy Muthu called for the government to increase the national minimum wage from RM1,100 to RM1,800 and abolish contract-based employment during a rally held in conjunction with Labour’s Day.
Then, on May 3, PSM central committee member S Arutchelvan questioned Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after he passed a statement that 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs) workers “should sacrifice and earn low wages in order to develop the nation”.
S Arutchelvan made headlines again on May 9 when he lashed out at former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. The PSM central committee member claimed that Shafee had belittled the estate people through his remark; the lawyer asked the media to not act like ‘estate people’ when rushing for the photo opportunity of Najib outside the court.
Additionally, S Arutchelvan also raised his concerns over Kajang Municipal Council’s (MPKj) slow progress in handling the tussle between a temple and developer in Ladang Bangi. He fears that the problem might trigger another temple riot like the incident at Seafield if not handled properly.