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PAS-PKR ties tense in Negri Sembilan

 | July 28, 2011

The Islamic party is eyeing the Labu and Ampangan state seats for the coming election.

PETALING JAYA: Relations between PAS and PKR in Negri Sembilan are getting tense as they negotiate for seats to contest in the coming general election.

Much of the tussle will involve state seats because the parliamentary seats are already evenly distributed among the three Pakatan Rakyat allies.

Neither PAS nor PKR is objecting to DAP contesting in the same 11 state constituencies it contested in the last election. These are all Chinese-majority seats and DAP won all but one of them in 2008.

Sources say PAS is particularly interested in Labu and Ampangan. In the last election, PKR lost in Labu, but won in Ampangan.

The negotiations are a stiff test for Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani, who last month replaced Zulkefly Mohd Omar as Negri Sembilan PAS commissioner.

Zulkefly came under heavy criticism three years ago for letting Labu slip to PKR despite it being traditionally associated with PAS.

“He was too slow to act and defend the Labu seat,” a PAS leader in Rasah told FMT. “When we wanted to inform the national leadership of our intention to contest the seat again, it was already too late. The decision to give it to PKR had been made.

“So this time we want Labu again. It’s a Malay majority seat that PAS had always contested. It has almost 68% Malay votes.”

The tension between PAS and PKR over Labu was already apparent last year, when Youth leaders from PAS and the party’s Rasah division went public about their interest in the seat.

They did the same thing early this year, to the chagrin of PKR as well PAS leaders, who said they should have brought the matter up either at the state PAS leadership meeting or the state Pakatan council meeting.

PAS offers Lenggeng to PKR

Ampangan is currently held by PKR’s Rashid Latiff, but activists in PAS are claiming that it is also traditionally a PAS seat. Rashid has health problems and is said to be the least performing of Pakatan assemblymen in Negri Sembilan.

In a recent interview with Sinar Harian, Seremban PAS Youth chief Zulkarnain Mohd Zaki suggested that PKR return Ampangan to PAS and instead contest in Lenggeng, which former state commissioner Zulkefly lost to the Barisan Nasional (BN) in 2008.

Zulkefly loyalists cried foul over the interview, saying it was a clear move to humiliate him and finish off his career.

PKR is expected to resist any move to deprive it of either Labu or Ampangan.

A national PKR leader told FMT that there is an understanding in Pakatan that PKR should dominate in the Malay majority seats in Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor.

In the last election, the distribution of Negri Sembilan state seats among Pakatan parties was as follows:

DAP: Bahau, Repah, Lukut, Senawang, Rahang, Mambau, Kepayang, Lobak, Temiang, Nilai and Chennah. DAP lost only in Chennah.

PKR: Pilah, Juasseh, Palong, Jeram Padang, Pertang, Labu, Ampangan, Sikamat, Port Dickson, Linggi, Chuah and Rantau. PKR won in Ampangan, Sikamat, Port Dickson and Chuah.

PAS: Serting, Sungai Lui, Klawang, Lenggeng, Bagan Pinang, Gemas, Gemencheh, Senaling, Johol, Sri Menanti, Kota, Chembong and Paroi. PAS won only in Paroi.

BN controls the State Legislative Assembly by holding 21 out of the 36 seats.


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