PAS may reclaim seats beyond Kelantan if it gets Nenggiri, says analyst

Lau Zhe Wei says PAS may use Nenggiri as a precedent to expand its influence in other areas where it has more supporters than Bersatu.

(FMT) – A political analyst has warned that PAS may attempt to reclaim seats in other states if its Gua Musang division succeeds in securing the Nenggiri state seat from its coalition partner Bersatu in Kelantan.

Lau Zhe Wei of International Islamic University Malaysia said PAS might justify its actions by citing the need to prevent future defections involving Bersatu representatives, which could lead to it reclaiming seats in other opposition-held states.

“Today, PAS takes seats in Kelantan. Tomorrow, it could extend its reach beyond Kelantan and target areas where PAS supporters outnumber Bersatu’s. Bersatu cannot allow this to happen,” he told FMT.

Lau was asked to comment on the possibility of a clash between Bersatu and PAS over the Nenggiri candidate for the Aug 17 by-election.

Yesterday, Gua Musang PAS chief Azman Ahmad expressed hope that Bersatu would step aside to allow PAS to contest the seat, citing concerns among voters about possible party-switching by elected representatives if a Bersatu candidate is fielded.

Azman claimed that the incumbent, Azizi Abu Naim, had undermined voter confidence by declaring his support for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration.

However, Kelantan Bersatu chief Kamaruddin Nor said the PAS division should officially notify the top Perikatan Nasional leadership if it wished to contest the Nenggiri state seat.

The Nenggiri seat was declared vacant by the state assembly speaker following a notice from Bersatu that Azizi had ceased to be a member of the party.

Meanwhile, Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said PAS was using the “Bersatu defections” narrative to consolidate its grip on the Nenggiri seat.

He said if Bersatu insisted on fielding a candidate, PAS might not fully commit to campaigning, as appeared to have been the case in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election.

“PAS supporters will be disappointed because this is their state, so why should Bersatu reap the benefits?” he added.