‘PAKATAN MAY LOSE BIG WITHOUT PAS’
The pact will struggle to win votes in Malay-majority seats, says expert
PAKATAN Harapan could lose votes without Pas’ vast election machinery in rural areas in the 14th General Election (GE14), experts said.
Universiti Malaya political analyst Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said PKR and DAP won a lot of votes in the last general election due to Pas’s solid rapport with locals.
He said credit should be given to Pas’s ability to convince Muslims to vote for DAP during a time when Malays were sceptical of the Chinese-majority party.
“For example, 50 per cent of voters in the Raub parliamentary seat are Muslims. Pas helped DAP candidate Datuk Mohamad Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz there.
“The same goes to state seats such as Derga in Kedah, with Malays making up 56 per cent of voters. The percentage is similar in Mentakab, with 52 per cent, and in Duyong, Melaka, with 50 per cent.
“Back then, the Malay electorate had rejected DAP.
“However, DAP won all of these seats because Pas convinced the people to vote for DAP,” said Awang Azman.
Pas left the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat pact in 2015 due to disagreement with
DAP on implementing hudud-linked law in Kelantan.
Last Thursday, Pas officially ended its 18year cooperation with PKR when its Syura Council decided that the move was necessary to defend the party’s Islamic agenda.
The council accused PKR of breaking many terms of its conditional cooperation with Pas, citing PKR’s failure to support its Islamic agenda, and working against it in two byelections last year.
Awang Azman warned PKR that it might lose crucial seats, such as Lembah Pantai, Gombak and Pandan, since the party won those seats with the help of Pas’s machinery.
The Lembah Pantai, Gombak and Pandan parliamentary seats are held by PKR vicepresident Nurul Izzah Anwar, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, respectively.
“Pas strongholds are mostly in Kelantan, Selangor, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis. Seats in those states that PKR contested in were lent to them on the basis of friendship.
“PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia have lost a solid election machinery.”
Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said while this would be an opportunity for PAN to expand its clout in Pakatan Harapan due to its strong Malay support base, the fledgling party might not have what it takes to lock horns with established parties like Umno and Pas.
“It will likely be a challenge for PAN to perform well in GE14 as Pas has loyal members and a solid machinery.
“It is good that Pas left the pact because it allows PAN to grow as a party, but then again, PAN does not have the same size of support, network and clout as Pas.”
Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi