Don’t bother, Hadi says of seat talks with Pakatan


(MMO) – Pakatan Harapan parties can forget about straight fights if they contest in Sungai Besar or Kuala Kangsar, said Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Closing off any possibility of his party ceding at least the Selangor seat to the opposition pact, the PAS president said the decision was final, even as PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is hoping to convince the former to yield the spot.

“PAS sees no problem whether it is a straight, three corner or even four corner fight. We will still contest,” he was quoted as saying in Malacca last night by the Sinar Harian news portal.

Hadi also said his party was taken aback by Pakatan Harapan’s attempts to negotiate for the seats, saying PAS thought the pact was only seeking to discuss how they would cooperate in the campaign against Barisan Nasional.

PAS has contested both seats repeatedly and held the strongest claim to run again in the two by-elections on June 18, Hadi said.

He also insisted his party was best placed to win the seats, citing its branches and machinery in both federal constituencies. PAS candidates there lost narrowly to BN in Election 2013.

“We never expected [Pakatan Harapan] would also ask to contest.

“Demands by other parties are unwarranted. What more when we find out they are from Pakatan Harapan,” he was further quoted as saying.

Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin is purportedly proposing that PKR contest Sungai Besar while PAS takes Kuala Kangsar, hoping a win by his party would make amends for the debacle in the Sarawak election earlier this month.

Sources familiar with the matter said the PKR deputy president was confident he would be able to convince PAS to make way in Selangor, but Hadi’s remarks now suggest the notion was misguided.

On Thursday, Azmin denied a report alleging he told Selangor executive councillors from PAS to resign if their party insisted on contesting the Sungai Besar by-election.

New Straits Times Online reported Azmin as calling the article on The Star Online “slanderous”.

Azmin, however, reportedly declined to confirm if PAS would remain in the state government should it remain set on contesting Sungai Besar.

PAS was in the Pakatan Rakyat pact with PKR and DAP before its collapse. The latter two went on to form Pakatan Harapan with PAS offshoot Amanah, while the Islamist party tied up with little-know Ikatan to become the “third force” in local politics.