GEORGE TOWN: PKR today welcomed Umno’s decision to give way to PAS to contest in the Seri Setia by-election, saying there was now clarity in their message to the people.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said there were no longer any question marks over the cooperation between the two parties as no attempt was being made to hide the fact that they were working together.
In politics, he said, there was a need for clarity about the kind of relations forged between parties.
“For example, PKR has declared its cooperation with DAP, PPBM and Amanah (in Pakatan Harapan). In Sabah, we have Warisan which may not be an official member of PH but we are nonetheless friendly partners.
“We made a declaration so that the people would be clear, that when they pick PH, the partners are PKR, DAP, Amanah, PPBM and Warisan,” he told reporters after a briefing on the Mutiara Food Bank here today.
Saifuddin was asked to comment on Umno’s decision to make way for PAS in the Seri Setia by-election, expected to be called following the death of assemblyman Shaharuddin Badaruddin.
The Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP added that on the opposition front, Barisan Nasional (BN) was now left with Umno, MCA and MIC while in Sarawak, the parties had taken a different direction.
“So you see, in Sungai Kandis and Seri Setia, when Umno and PAS take turns being open (about their cooperation), to me that is very good. It makes it easier for the people to choose.
“The best is to have a two-party system in the country. I hope that this cooperation between the two parties can continue, and when they combine their strengths, I believe they can be an effective opposition bloc.
“The PH government needs a strong opposition front for checks and balances.”
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan had said the party’s decision to stay out of the by-election was to reciprocate PAS’ decision to skip the Sungai Kandis by-election which Umno is contesting.
Mohamad also expressed hope that PAS would pick a good candidate, adding that the exchange of favour marked the beginning of an understanding between the two parties to forge a new political movement.
Shaharuddin was the Selangor Islamic affairs, education and human capital development committee chairman. He died of colon cancer two days ago at the age of 55.
In the May 9 general election, he garnered 29,250 votes to win the Seri Setia seat.