PAS eyeing five Negri state seats

By Zehfry Dahalan, FMT

SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan PAS is eyeing at least five state seats for the coming general election. They are Labu, Serting, Klawang, Lenggeng, and Johol.

PAS currently only has one state seat in Paroi out of the 15 seats controlled by Pakatan Rakyat.

The state seat that the party thinks it has a great chance of winning is Labu, which is held by Umno state assemblymen Hasim Rusdi, who is also a state executive council member.

PAS’ confidence was boosted by recent developments in Labu where about 150 Umno members led by the Labu Residents Association president Aziz Samsudin, a former Umno member, crossed over to PAS last month.

“We are confident of snatching the Labu seat from Umno this time around as Rasah Umno led by Hasim is facing an internal crisis.

“Hasim is at loggerheads with Rasah Umno Youth and state Umno Youth chief, Helmi Din. Both Hasim and Helmi are not carrying out any activities in Labu because of the dispute between them.

“Furthermore, the 150 Umno members who joined PAS are from Labu Hilir, which is Hasim’s ‘kampung’ or fortress”, said Rasah PAS chief, Anuar Azhari.

Anuar is expected to contest the Labu seat this time as PKR is set to return it to PAS. In the 2008 general election, Mokhtar Ahmad from PKR lost to Hasim by 1,405 votes.

The latest racial composition for Labu is Malay (65.7%), Indian (19.2%), Chinese (13.5%) and Orang Asli (1.08%).

PAS is also mounting a serious challenge in Serting where the campaign will be led by Jempol PAS chief, Abdul Rahman Ramli.

A recent court case involving 766 Felda Serting settlers who sued the Felda management over the issue of the extraction of low grade oil palm augers well for PAS in Serting.

Two more court cases involving Felda Serting and Felda Raja Alias settlers against the Felda management also gave for PAS the chance to make inroads into Serting.

“With all these developments we finally broke the ice in Felda settlement areas where in the past Felda is the strongest Umno fortress not only in Negri Sembilan but also in other states where Felda schemes are located.

“We (PAS) together with PKR and Anak (National Felda Settlers’ Children Association) are organising many awareness programmes in Felda schemes in Serting and Jempol on the rights of the settlers.

“The response has been very encouraging where hundreds of the second and third generation of the Felda settlers joined either PAS or PKR in recent months,” said Abdul Rahman.