Pakatan decides not to cooperate with PAS in GE14

mahathir-phPETALING JAYA: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council last night made a firm decision not to cooperate with PAS in the next general election (GE14).

In a statement issued after a three-hour meeting, Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders said the opposition coalition will instead be preparing a strategy to manage the expected three-cornered contests in GE14.

“We also managed to solve the problem on the appointment of state leaders,” PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said when approached by the media after the meeting ended, before telling reporters to refer to the statement for more details.

Meanwhile, Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub was pleased with the outcome of the meeting, particularly pertaining to the issue of not cooperating with PAS.

“It is good news. A firm decision,” said Salahuddin, who was part of the Islamist party before leaving with other progressive leaders and members to form Amanah in June 2015.

Almost all the leaders in the PH hierarchy attended the meeting. However, Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali was notably absent.

When asked how PH arrived at a decision without Azmin attending the meeting, Salahuddin, who is also a vice-president in PH, replied that it was a decision made by the four parties.

The meeting followed reports that some PKR leaders were involved in negotiations with PAS on the allocation of seats in Selangor in GE14.

On Saturday, Azmin, who is PKR deputy president, said his talks with PAS leaders were not done in his personal capacity but based on a party decision. However, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution later denied there was such a decision made at the party level.

Azmin said negotiations were “solely to prevent three-cornered contests” in Selangor and to “increase the chances of winnability for PKR and opposition parties”.

The move did not sit well with some party leaders, including Selayang MP, William Leong who recently announced his resignation from the political bureau, the highest decision making body in PKR.

In a lengthy statement,  party vice-president Rafizi Ramli said since 2015, the party leadership had been split on the issue of its ties with PAS.

Rafizi had named Azmin, Tian Chua, Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, Xavier Jeyakumar, Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin, Zuraida Kamaruddin, R Sivarasa, Saifuddin Abdullah, Kamaruddin Jaafar and Fahmi Fadzil as among those who favour talks with PAS.

On the other hand, the Pandan MP said besides Leong, secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Tan Yew Kew, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Johari Abdul, Sim Tze Tzin and Fariz Musa were opposed to the idea of working with PAS.

Rafizi proposed that a special PKR congress would be able to put the matter to rest and stop the confusion among grassroots members.