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Ambiga tells PH: GE14 pact with PAS essential

 | September 14, 2017

Former Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan says Pakatan Harapan must talk to PAS to minimise three-cornered fights and stop the BN regaining a two-thirds majority.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prominent lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan has advised the opposition to continue talks with PAS to minimise three-cornered fights in the next general election (GE14).

Stressing that it was one way of having an upper hand over the Barisan Nasional, the former Bersih 2.0 chairperson said she was not suggesting that Pakatan Harapan work with PAS, but just to form a pact to avoid three-cornered fights.

“They have done it before. PAS always wanted hudud and etc. That was their position (in 2008). But they still managed to come together and create a pact,” she said referring to the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat.

Ambiga was speaking at a talk on “GE14: A mother of all general elections” in Bangsar here last night.

Other speakers were PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil and former Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief operating officer, Tricia Yeoh.

Ambiga, who is National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president, said both PH and PAS would lose out if they refuse to cooperate on the seat allocations.

She said this was because it would be easier to win in a straight fight.

“There may still be a lot of three-cornered fights but if Pakatan Harapan continues negotiation, it can be minimised. I do not say work with them after that,” she clarified, stating that PH had to remain strategic to win GE14.

This is because it will be impossible to take on the BN in three-cornered fights, as seen in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections last year.

She said both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar were semi-urban areas and it was tough to win them from the BN.

“It is a kamikaze move. The fear is BN will get back their two-thirds majority in parliament if there are many three-cornered fights.

“All I am saying is, please minimise it. I know it is inevitable in some areas but minimise it because it is a risk. Try to get as many straight fights as you can,” she said, adding that it would be wrong to simply dismiss the idea of talking to PAS.

According to Ambiga, GE14 would be won by the shift in Malay votes in semi-urban and rural areas.

“The urban voter thinks differently, but three-cornered fights in rural areas will split the Malay votes into three,” she said.

A PKR faction led by deputy president Azmin Ali has been pursuing talks with PAS.

However, recently, the Pakatan Harapan presidential council had decided against cooperating with PAS.

Azmin feels vindicated by Anwar’s backing for PAS talks

PAS, PKR ties have everything to do with Pakatan

Azmin: PKR hasn’t given up, still open to talks with PAS


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