DAP-PAS rivalries take centre stage in Sungai Besar


(MMO) – DAP and PAS have been at each other’s throats in Sungai Besar from the first day of campaign kick-off, with leaders from both sides trading barbs on the trail in the close quarter battle for votes.

At a ceramah last night, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang alleged that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang told several “untruths” while stumping for his party and that therefore, any vote cast for the Islamist outfit would be a “wasted” one.

Among others, Lim said Hadi attacked Pakatan Harapan’s Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), claiming that “Amanah led by DAP, good or bad, they will oppose all” and that PAS, on the other hand, will “oppose what is not good and support what is good”.

Not to be beaten, Lim hit back at Hadi, saying the PAS leader had elevated himself to a “God-like” status by equating criticism and alleged disloyalty to PAS as a sin.

“Firstly, PAS led by Hadi does not support ‘what is good, oppose what is bad’, for the PAS president is the only one opposition leader in the country who had given support and backing to the prime minister,” the DAP veteran said according to a copy of his speech from a Pakatan Harapan ceramah last night.

Lim was referring to Hadi’s apparent backing of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the RM2.6 billion controversy.

He noted that when the story made the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) headlines last year, Hadi, instead of joining the chorus of disapproval in the opposition, had chosen instead to say that the daily should provide at least four trustworthy witnesses to back its claims.

“Secondly, what Hadi said about the DAP where DAP and I are equated as ‘unmitigated evil’, where what we said and did are all wrong, not only fly in the face of truth but also against his own assertions in the past,” Lim continued.

Explaining further, the DAP adviser reminded Hadi of how he used to sing praises for the DAP in the past, even expressing his gratitude to the party for standing by PAS when the Kelantan PAS government fell in 1978.

“Hadi acknowledged that it was DAP who defended PAS when the Kelantan government fell to Barisan Nasional which created chaos in the state.

“At that time, BN was working with PAS but BN did nothing to help PAS and it was DAP which defended PAS at the time,” Lim pointed out.

“But all the good deeds of the DAP in the past have now become ‘evil deeds’ in the eyes of Hadi,” he said.

Lim added that Hadi was also wrong to accuse Amanah, a party formed late last year among PAS’s ousted progressives, of being DAP’s puppets.

He reminded Hadi that in the seven years that PAS was with the DAP in the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact, Umno propagandists had continuously labelled Hadi and PAS tools and puppets of the DAP.

“Why is Hadi and the PAS leaders employing these Umno tactics to accuse Amanah as tools and puppets of DAP ― when they themselves had been the victims of such false and baseless attacks by Umno in the past?” he asked.

Lim went on to remind Hadi again that PAS secured 18,296 votes in Sungai Besar in Election 2013 only because it was campaigning at the time as a member of PR.

During the last poll, PAS lost the seat to BN in a straight fight by a slim majority of just 399 votes.

According to Lim, this time, the battle will stay between BN and Pakatan Harapan, which was formed from the ashes of PR among DAP, PKR and Amanah.

He claimed it would be a struggle for PAS to win the election, much less poll even 10,000 votes in the poll.

“In these circumstances, every vote for PAS in the Sungai Besar by-election is a wasted vote, for it can only help to ensure the Umno/BN candidate win on June 18.

“Although the Sungai Besar by-election is a three-cornered contest, the real battle is between Umno/BN and Amanah/Pakatan Harapan,” he said.

Sungai Besar is a primarily rural federal constituency with 42,836 registered voters, 67.18 per cent of whom are Malay, 30.18 per cent Chinese, and 1.91 per cent Indian..

The late Datuk Noriah Kasnon, whose death triggered the by-election, won the seat by just 399 votes in Election 2013.

PAS’s Meru assemblyman Dr Rani Osman is facing BN’s Sungai Panjang assemblyman Budiman Mohd Zohdi and Amanah’s SungaiBesar chairman Azhar Ab Shukur for the June 18 contest.