S’WAK POLLS PAS may appear “irrelevant” in the 11th state election with regard to Sarawak’s political fabric but the party itself believed it could “spring a surprise” in the outcome of the polls.
Its president Abdul Hadi Awang when met by reporters, expressed confidence that his party could achieve victory even though it would be battling formidable BN, former allies PKR and DAP, and splinter group Amanah.
He launched his party’s Lambir and Jepak manifesto at a local restaurant in Miri last night.
PAS is contesting in 11 constituencies, double the number in the 2011 state elections.
It will face Amanah in Samariang, Muara Tuang, Sadong Jaya, Sebuyau and Beting Maro; PKR in Kakus, Jepak and Lambir; and DAP in Samalaju and Pujut.
When asked on first-timer Amanah’s chances, Abdul Hadi merely brushed aside the new political party as a “mosquito party”.
Its presence in the Sarawak state election, he said, would not pose a big challenge to a more established party like PAS.
“They (Amanah) are like a mosquito party that only emerges during an election,” he said.
Amanah in its maiden attempt is contesting in 13 constituencies, mainly Melayu-Melanau majority areas.
To a suggestion that the opposition’s differences, in reference to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang’s statement about squabbles over seat distribution, would give BN an added advantage, Hadi refused to throw in the towel.
“It is still too early to predict the election results, we (PAS) leave it to the voters to decide,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Hadi said the party decided to contest in 11 constituencies as it wanted to play an active role in Sarawak, particularly as a check and balance mechanism, where the state government is concerned.
PAS is facing two contenders in most of the constituencies, while its candidates in Sadong Jaya and Pujut would be involved in a four-cornered fight respectively.
In the same breath, the party is also attempting to stamp its presence among two Iban majority areas, Kakus and Samalaju and one Chinese majority area, Pujut.
The party also fielded a non-Muslim, its PAS Suppporters Congress chief, Clement Bayang, 59, who is also a popular Iban singer and recording artiste, as its candidate in Kakus.