We are down but not out, PAS tells Kit Siang

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang on the campaign trail for the recent Port Dickson by-election. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan has warned DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang against underestimating the Islamist party despite its weaker results in the May 9 general election.

The Kota Bharu MP noted that his party had gone to the polls without relying on the support of others, unlike Amanah, PPBM or even DAP.

He told FMT that while Lim was entitled to his opinion of PAS, the Islamist party was clear on its roadmap and plans.

He was responding to the DAP veteran, who had said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang should be worried about the “tide turning” against PAS and the party’s “declining” fortunes.

This came after Hadi said the low voter turnout for the Port Dickson by-election was a sign of protest over Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) failure to fulfil its promises.

“Wait for GE15,” Takiyuddin said. “Our roadmap wasn’t for GE14, but for the next election.

“The results show that we are growing stronger at the grassroots level even though we won less than when we were in Pakatan Rakyat.”

He also claimed that DAP’s support from the people had decreased since the party became part of the ruling government as they now had higher expectations.

PAS vice-president Iskandar Samad meanwhile agreed that PH should be concerned over the low voter turnout in Port Dickson considering that PKR’s candidate, Anwar Ibrahim, had been contesting with the goal of eventually becoming the next prime minister.

“Anwar got 71% of the votes, but only about 41% of the voters voted for him. The rest voted for other candidates or stayed away,” he told FMT.

He said he believed Lim was aware of this but was attacking PAS to hide his concerns.

He added that PAS was satisfied with the results as Port Dickson was not its stronghold. He said the Islamist party had contested the by-election to allow voters who were unhappy with the government to register their protests.

Universiti Utara Malaysia political analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff cautioned PH leaders not to take Malay support for granted just because the Port Dickson results showed that Anwar had received the support of all races.

“It doesn’t mean that the Malays are increasingly more supportive of PH.

“We must keep in mind that in the case of Port Dickson, Anwar was touted as the next prime minister. There is also a certain segment within Umno which supports Anwar as they see him as their saviour,” said Kamarul, who in the past had been critical of PH.

“But it is true that the results confirm the view that non-Malays are distancing themselves more and more from PAS.”