Sarawak opposition in disarray in run-up to state polls


(Malay Mail Online) – Opposition parties at the federal level have cobbled a new alliance to go toe-to-toe against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), but its component parties in Sarawak are caught in a partnership tussle in the countdown to state elections that must be held by next year.

Sarawak DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) demanded the state PKR to make clear its relationship with the PAS state chapter, adding that the state-level Pakatan Harapan coalition will not work if there are still ties to the conservative Islamist party.

“They can’t be friendly to PAS while at the same time want to work with Amanah and DAP under the Sarawak PH umbrella,” Sarawak Amanah information chief Andri Zulkarnain Hamden told reporters here.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said PAS has shown that it was not able to be a “team player” after betraying its partners in the Pakatan Rakyat pact to pursue its hudud agenda, which was not shared by the other opposition parties.

Both Andri and Chong were responding to remarks by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian who said his party would work with anyone, including PAS, if it could topple BN.

Andri portrayed Amanah, a breakaway party from PAS, comprised moderate and progressive Islamist members that is more acceptable to Sarawak, which is the only state in the country where Christians still outnumber Muslims.