PAS’ fragile ties with PKR face test in April

Nasrudin Hassan

(MMO) – PAS will formally decide in two months if it is to continue its current political pact with PKR, the Islamist party’s information chief Nasrudin Hassan said today.

Though his leader Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has openly rebuffed cooperation with any party linked to splinter Amanah and former partner DAP, Nasrudin said PAS will only make its final decision through its annual general assembly, which it calls a muktamar, to be held in April.

“We will decide in April. Since the matter was decided by the muktamar, we will let the muktamar decide,” he told reporters here.

PAS’ existing friendship with PKR sees its representatives in a peculiar working relationship with DAP assemblymen as part of the Selangor state government.

Nasrudin made the assertion after he was pressed to explain PAS’ decision to remain in the Selangor administration, which also consist of DAP state assemblymen.

Abdul Hadi’s had declared on Monday that PAS would not co-operate with any party that has ties with the DAP and Amanah, which he cited as the reason behind his decision to snub Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

But despite PAS’ outright rejection, Dr Mahathir said his party will still give the Islamists one month to decide.

However, Nasrudin reiterated today that the party has decided that it is against establishing ties with PPBM due to its link with former ally DAP and splinter Parti Amanah Negara.

“We have had enough. From the history we had in the Alternative Front and Pakatan Rakyat.

“If Bersatu is adamant that we sit together with DAP and Amanah then we say no,” he said, referring to PPBM.

The PAS information chief also said his party was committed to the third bloc, Gagasan Sejahtera, currently a political pact comprising PAS, Ikatan and various other Islamist NGOs.

Nasrudin then warned the main opposition pact Pakatan Harapan against taking the third bloc lightly.

Expecting more political parties to join the pact, Nasrudin claimed Gagasan will be more than capable to pose a serious challenge to both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan.

“We are no mosquito… do not take this third force lightly,” he said.

On February 1, PAS and PPBM formed a joint committee that was tasked with framing an outline for political cooperation between both parties ahead of the 14th general election that must be called by mid next year.

PPBM, the newest Umno splinter party, has been courting PAS for the past few months to form a more cohesive Opposition front.

The Islamist party fell out with secular DAP in 2015, leading to the breakup of the Pakatan Rakyat partnership formed after the landmark Election 2008 that denied the ruling BN its customary two-thirds control of Parliament for the first time in decades.