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Saturday, January 16, 2016

PAS ready for multi-cornered fight with Amanah, DAP

PUTRAJAYA - PAS is determined to take on its former ally DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) besides Barisan Nasional in the next general election, says Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed.

The PAS Dewan Ulama chief said this is because the Islamist party has made the decision to stand on its own, but has still maintained its political cooperation with PKR.

“This is what happens when we choose to be alone. We will contest in more seats, including the ones contested by DAP and Amanah, because we don’t have any ties with them.

“We are not giving even a single seat to Amanah, even if it means that it will result in multi-cornered fight,” said Mahfodz on the sidelines of PAS’ entrepreneurship convention here, Saturday.

Mahfodz said this in response to PAS vice-president Datuk Iskandar Samad, who had last week revealed that the Selangor PAS would contest in 25 seats - five more seats than the 20 seats contested in the previous general election.

The Selangor PAS commissioner, however, refused to reveal if the seats had been traditionally contested by their former allies.

Mahfodz said such decisions were not unusual, as Johor was already doing it.

“We have conducted meetings with Johor PKR on the choice of our candidates and we hope to finalise the names before the election,” said the Johor PAS commissioner.

He also dismissed allegations made by his former colleague, Amanah communications director Khalid Samad, that PAS had chosen to stay out of Pakatan Harapan because it wanted to be a dominant Malay party by merging with Umno.

He said PAS was already the dominant Malay party in the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat as it had received the most Malay votes, until it was “kicked out” by DAP.

“Now that we are on our own, there’s a possibility that the Malay votes will favour us even though we are losing the Chinese votes,” said Mahfodz.

He added that now that PAS was out of the opposition pact, DAP has taken on the role of the dominant party as it has majority support of the Chinese.

“Amanah isn’t a dominant party because it is still new and its strength in politics has not been tested,” he said, adding that PAS will emerge stronger now than in the past.

“Even though we have decided not to unite with Umno, I believe we have the Malay votes now that they realise that DAP is a threat,” he said.

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PAS ready to cut ties if PKR found to be ‘backstabbing’

PUTRAJAYA - PAS will not hesitate to sever ties with PKR if the latter is found to be “backstabbing” the Islamist party, says Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.

The PAS Dewan Ulama information chief said it had always been PAS’ principle not to work with “traitors” as it did not want to be used by any party.

He claimed that PKR had previously shared a stage with Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) in Kelantan in their attempt to “attack” a PAS’ stronghold.

“It looked like sabotage against PAS. PAS cannot be friends with someone who is also friends with our enemy. It is not right,” he told the press after attending PAS’ entrepreneurship convention here, Saturday.

In view of this, Khairuddin said PAS would have to review its political cooperation with PKR from time to time, especially in the context of state governments, such as in Selangor.

“Our principle is clear. We do not want to be used by anyone, like what DAP and PKR did during the previous general election.

"We helped them with our election machinery but we ended up being used by them. This is not Islamic,” the Kuala Nerus MP said.

He said it is time PAS stood on its own without DAP and PKR as it could always forge ties with other parties.

"We can also cooperate with the non-governmental organisations which have no political interest without having to neglect the welfare of the people," he said.

It was reported last week that Kelantan PAS had sent a protest letter to PKR for attending events organised by Amanah.

In the letter, which was widely shared on social media, Kelantan PAS liaison secretary Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said PKR's move had caused uneasiness with PAS.

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