Ties with PH will help us win Sepang, says Amanah

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Hanipa Maidin won the Sepang seat in 2013 when he was a PAS member. (Facebook pic).

PETALING JAYA: Amanah is confident of its chances of retaining the Sepang parliamentary seat in the 14th general election (GE14) with the backing of its Pakatan Harapan (PH) allies.

Sepang Amanah division chief Zulkarnain Yazid said he believed whoever the party decides to put up in Sepang would be able to win over voters.

“We will not just bring Amanah’s flag, but also that of the other parties in Pakatan Harapan,” Zulkarnain said, referring to PKR, DAP and PPBM.

Current Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin won the seat as a PAS member in the last general election. The lawyer is among the founding members of Amanah, formed in the wake of the split in PAS following the 2015 party elections.

Zulkarnain also dismissed a suggestion that Hanipa won the seat in the 2013 general election due to voters’ support for PAS.

“PAS won the seat because it was a part of Pakatan Rakyat back then,” he said, referring to the three-party loose coalition that went to the polls in 2013.

He said Amanah had not yet decided on its candidate for the seat, or whether Hanipa would defend it.

However, Zulkarnain said there would be a three-cornered fight in the constituency, as PAS and Barisan Nasional (BN) would try to win it back.

That possibility, he added, is no threat to PH.

“We believe the focus will solely be on PH and BN, even if PAS is in the picture, because the people want a party that can offer them better leadership,” he told FMT.

Hanipa declined to comment on Amanah’s chances in GE14.

The Sepang parliamentary seat has four state seats – Dengkil, Tanjung Sepat, Bangi and Sungei Pelek – under the constituency.

Sepang was won by BN in every election since 1959 until the ruling coalition lost to PAS in the 2013 polls.

Meanwhile, Zulkarnain said one problem Amanah faced was a lack of funds.

“For the time being, the party still depends on funds and donations from members, in order to run various programmes and activities.”

Meanwhile, BN said its chances would be boosted should there be more than one opposition party contesting the seat.

“It is a bonus for BN, the chances are brighter for us,” said BN’s Dengkil assemblyman, Shahrum Mohd Sharif.

But he said BN still had to work hard, and focus on its own strength instead of on others’ weaknesses.

“We can’t deny the fact that Hanipa has always been active in the Dewan Rakyat, but he also needs to provide services in Sepang,” Shahrum, also the Sepang Umno deputy division chief, said.