Analyst: Hard for PAS to win Shah Alam

It is imperative for PAS to win over the urban Malay voters in Shah Alam to stay relevant.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has cast doubt on PAS’ ability to win the Shah Alam parliamentary seat.

Reacting to Selangor Amanah’s announcement that Khalid Samad would be defending the seat, Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said PAS would find it hard to wrest it from the two-term MP.

He said Shah Alam would serve as a yardstick for how well PAS would do in urban areas with a middle-class Malay majority.

“But Khalid is a formidable competitor,” he told FMT, noting that it was he who delivered Shah Alam to the Islamist party in 2008.

“Previously, the fight was always between Umno and PAS, and PAS turned out the victor, starting in 2008,” he said.

“But now PAS has to compete not only with Umno, but also Khalid.

“In 2013, there was a battle between political personalities in Shah Alam, with Zulkifli Nordin representing Barisan Nasional, and Khalid again representing PAS. Khalid won for a second time.”

PAS research head Zuhdi Marzuki has been slated to contest for the seat. Barisan Nasional has yet to announce its candidate, but pundits believe it will be Shah Alam Umno division chief Azhari Shaari.

Awang Azman also said Umno had probably lost about 30% of its support in Shah Alam since the split in the party that gave birth to PPBM.

Khalid first sought election in Shah Alam in 2004, but lost to Umno’s Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin.

In 2008, he beat Aziz with a majority of more than 9,000, representing more than 57% of the votes. In 2013, he beat BN’s Zulkfili with a majority of close to 11,000 votes.

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