Faced with possibility of losing Selangor to Barisan Nasional (BN), several Pakatan Harapan leaders have reiterated the need for Opposition parties to arrive at a new co-operation for the next general election.
PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara leaders polled indicated they were ready to sacrifice their traditional seats to ensure straight fights, after pollster Politweet warned that a three-cornered contests will likely gift the state to BN after the proposed redelineation exercise by the Election Commission (EC).
“We have to renegotiate. We cannot use 2013 as the basis because the situation back then was not the same with now. Back then there was no Amanah and Bersatu,” Amanah communications director Khalid Abdul Samad told Malay Mail Online, the latter referring to Umno offshoot Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).
“That is why we need to sit together and re-examine. It has to be based on winnability, including winnable candidates.
“We’re going into a very serious negotiating table. In principle, we agree that we must go for a one-to-one fight, just we have to work out which seats and where to contest,” Selangor PKR deputy chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said.
“But the older parties — PAS, PKR and DAP have got to look into the mechanism, so that we reach a decision which we feel will be at the other parties’ advantage and not ours.”
Malay Mail Online reported on Monday that BN stands a good chance of winning enough state seats to take back Selangor from Pakatan Harapan should there be three-cornered fights there after redelineation, according to research outfit Politweet.
“A three-cornered fight is always harmful. It splits the votes of those who reject BN. The way to overcome it is surely through negotiations and discussions between parties that oppose BN.
“The problems arise when there are those who refuse to talk over and declare several seats as theirs since forever,” Khalid, who is also Shah Alam MP, said.
Zuraida admitted that the situation in Selangor is unique as PAS is still part of the state government although it is no longer in the federal opposition pact that is now Pakatan Harapan.
“Therefore all four parties involved, somehow we rather have to agree on the status quo,” the Ampang MP added, referring to the political alliance between the coalition and PAS.
“I think it’s time to deal with the elephant in the room. We cannot delay not talking about it anymore. How is PAS Selangor different from PAS central? There is a lot of convincing that needs to be done apart from just issuing press statements,” Selangor DAP deputy chief and state Speaker Hannah Yeoh added.
Despite that, Selangor PAS has not decided whether they will accept giving their traditional seats to other parties, especially its splinter Amanah and former ally DAP, which it has sworn to never work with again.
Selangor PAS secretary Mohd Khairuddin Othman said the Islamist party is confident it will keep its seats after redelineation, even as Politweet predicted that BN could stand to win up to 11 more state seats at the expense of PAS which is set to lose up to eight seats.
“PAS will remain at all 20 seats that we contested in the 13th general elections,” Khairuddin told Malay Mail Online.
Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad could not be reached, but he was quoted in Free Malaysia Today as conceding that the party would be affected by redelineation, but not to the extent of losing eight seats.
PPBM supreme council member Abu Bakar Yahya, who is the former Selangor Perkasa chief, told Malay Mail Online that the seat negotiation in the state has yet to be decided by the party.
“This issue has not been discussed by the top leadership,” Abu Bakar said in a text message.
PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told a press conference after its first supreme council meeting last week that the party has started talks with Pakatan Harapan components and PAS.
In 2013, then Pakatan Rakyat made up of PKR, DAP and PAS had won 44 out of the 56 Selangor state legislative assembly seats.
In its latest redelineation exercise, the EC is seeking to change the names of 12 parliamentary seats and 34 state constituencies nationwide ahead of the next general elections due in 2018.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has since said Selangor government will file an application for judicial review against the exercise, claiming it will disrupt the peace between the state’s multiracial voters.
Source : BY ZURAIRI AR AND SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL@The Malay Mail Online