‘Weak Bersatu could cost Pas votes if it stays in PN’

Pas is damaging its own image by remaining in Perikatan Nasional and stands to lose more votes, says a political analyst.

(NST) – National Council of Professors fellow Professor Dr Azmi Hassan said this was because Bersatu, the coalition that is leading PN, is “very weak”.

He said, with the largest number of parliamentary seats, Pas should be leading the coalition.

“Over the past few months, we have seen that the Pas leadership is trying to portray that they control PN. I think that is one reason why they proposed putting Dr Sam (the nickname for Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar) as the prime minister.

“However, by staying in PN, or playing second fiddle to Bersatu, PN looks very weak and (Pas) is not going anywhere (progress wise),” he said.

In the 15th General Election, Pas won 43 parliamentary seats, while Bersatu won 31.

Azmi said, currently, Bersatu holds control, placing Pas in a dilemma regarding its federal government aspirations.

“I think the ultimate political vision is for Pas to be part of or to be the federal government.

“But Pas knows that with PN, it is something impossible (to achieve). However, leaving PN and going solo seems even more improbable.

“If they go solo, they will be more friendly to the unity government,” he said.

Azmi also said there are some suggestions that Bersatu’s weakness is due to Pas’ rhetoric and extreme stance adversely affecting the former in the recent Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election on May 11.

However, he said he believes this was merely an excuse by Bersatu to divert attention from its own weaknesses within PN.

Bersatu’s weaknesses have been seen as being exacerbated by the move by six members of parliament from the party in declaring support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration.

The party had recently sent letters to the six — Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman, Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi (Tanjong Karang), Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Zahari Kechik (Jeli), Mohd Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang) and Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar).

On Friday, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had said the six Bersatu “rebels” have received a letter with specific directives to respond to within 14 days.

Though he declined to reveal the specific directives, he said any failure to respond would see them immediately and automatically losing their party memberships under the party’s constitution.

Azizi has said the six, as well as Selat Klang assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari, who had declared his support for Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, would seek legal advice before deciding whether to reply to the letter.