PAS blames Azmin for loss in by-elections


(MMO) – PAS claims the party’s dismal performance in the recently concluded parliamentary by-elections was due to Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s open support for Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).

“We felt betrayed when the Selangor Mentri Besar openly pledged his full support for Amanah candidates,” PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said.

“But we understood he was under pressure from his own party in Selangor.”

Tuan Ibrahim said Azmin should have refrained from publicly backing Amanah, considering his cordial relationship with PAS.

Asked whether the Islamist party would consider severing ties with PKR, Tuan Ibrahim said: “No, we have not thought about cutting our ties with PKR but PKR must know how to respect PAS’s seats.”

“Our next strategy is not to trigger three-cornered fights,” he said.

Prior to the by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, Azmin had pushed for a straight fight between PAS and BN, with parties in Pakatan Harapan giving their full support to PAS.

However, his negotiations failed with the opposition pact deciding to field candidates from Amanah to garner votes from  the Chinese community.

But the results of the two by-elections indicated the Chinese supported BN, giving the ruling coalition thumping majorities of 9,191 in Sungai Besar and 6,969 in Kuala Kangsar.

Tuan Ibrahim dismissed Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub’s suggestion to review its ties with PAS and form a unified opposition to topple BN in the next election.

“I saw there was no light at the end of the tunnel working with DAP and there is no way we could work together again,” he said, after DAP cut ties and left the coalition when it formed the new Pakatan Harapan early this year.

Tuan Ibrahim also conceded that BN’s victories in both constituencies were an indication the Chinese support had shifted to the BN, and was no longer with DAP.

“The Sekinchan state seat is not considered safe for DAP any more, and from my observation, DAP’s ill-treatment of PAS contributed to the Opposition’s downfall,” he said.

DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said Pakatan Harapan needed to review its future plans and strategies. She also dismissed any renewal of ties with PAS.

However, PKR vice-president Dr Xavier Jayakumar urged Pakatan Harapan parties, including PAS, to merge and fight only one enemy, which was BN.

“We have to act together. The two by-election defeats were a disappointment due to the breakup of the Opposition,” he said.