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Muhyiddin ready to tame PAS

 | September 30, 2016

He says he can convince the Islamist party to join hands with Pakatan and Bersatu for GE14.

hadi muhyiddinKUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu President Muhyiddin Yassin is confident he can convince PAS to join his party and Pakatan Harapan in an opposition alliance, a move to ensure one-to-one contests against Barisan Nasional (BN) at the next general election.

“We are confident we can act as the glue to ensure PAS would join us to take on BN at the next election,” he told several Kelantan politicians who will form the party’s chapter in the state.

At the meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur, Muhyiddin disclosed that he had met PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang.

Tomorrow, he will speak at a PAS programme, sharing the stage with several Terengganu PAS leaders, including vice-president Idris Ahmad, election director Mustafa Ali and deputy state commissioner Yahaya Ali. The programme is a prelude to PAS’s “Himpunan Harapan Semua (Hope for All Rally)”.

Pakatan Harapan, made up of PKR, DAP and Amanah, has in principle agreed to join hands with Muhyiddin’s party for the next polls. There has not been any clear signal from PAS that it would cooperate.

The Islamist party is uneasy with DAP and Amanah, but maintains ties with PKR. PKR has been engaging PAS, hoping to convince it to join an electoral pact aimed at preventing three-cornered contests at the 14th general election, due in 2018.

Muhyiddin’s gestures to PAS come in the wake of opposition outrage over the Election Commission’s redelineation of electoral boundaries.

The redrawing of the electoral map, which Pakatan said would favour BN, will also affect PAS. Some observers believe that PAS now realise its friendlier ties with Umno will not ensure it would survive the next general election. The redelineation may harm the party’s chances, including in Hadi’s parliamentary constituency of Marang, Terengganu.

A recent study by the Institut Darul Ehsan (IDE), a think tank linked to the Selangor government, concluded that the opposition parties’ chances of defeating BN at the polls would depend heavily on whether they could avoid clashing and ensure one-to-one contests against the ruling coalition.

IDE Deputy Chairman Redzuan Othman said any multi-cornered fight would work in BN’s favour, even if the EC decides to use the existing electoral map.

Muhyiddin on Tuesday met with several leaders of Bersatu’s proposed Kelantan chapter at his office in Damansara. They included former Pasir Puteh MP Kamarudin Md Nor, former Kelantan Umno Youth leader Zaiyadi Awang Noh, former Tanah Merah MP Sazmi Miah and Pasir Mas Umno deputy chief Che Johan Che Pa.

Che Johan, who was selected to represent BN in Pasir Mas in the 2013 polls, created a stir when he refused to file his nomination papers, giving way to independent candidate Ibrahim Ali to take on PAS.

Kamaruddin, Zayadi and Sazmi were recently named by former cabinet minister Zaid Ibrahim as three leaders “who could cooperate with Husam (Musa) to wrest Kelantan away” from PAS. Husam, formerly a PAS vice-president, joined Amanah last month.

 


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