Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin today urged Pakatan Harapan to not let past grudges get in the way of allowing PAS to stand against BN in straight fights in the two by-elections.
The opposition coalition, he said, must be realistic in accepting the fact that PAS has long had support at both the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituencies over Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), a splinter party which is still finding its feet.
“If a one-to-one fight occurs between PAS and BN, there is a high possibility that PAS will win based on the the rakyat’s anger against Umno and the party leadership.
“PAS’ victory will increase the rakyat’s morale in continuing their support for opposition parties in the next general election,” said Zainuddin in a blog post today.
Amanah contesting in the by-elections would be nothing more than for the party to test its strength against PAS, he added.
“But if it loses, its morale will drop to its lowest and this will also have a big impact on Pakatan Harapan, especially PKR.”
PAS’ victory in the by-elections will also open doors for PAS to mend its ties with Pakatan Harapan, he said.
“Although PAS seems to be chummy with Umno, the reality is the PAS grassroots cannot accept Prime Minister Najib (Abdul Razak) and his wife Rosmah (Mansor).”
BN’s victory in the two constituencies, he said, could boost chances of Najib remaining in the Seri Perdana for “the next 1,000 years”,
“But if (BN) loses, then he (Najib) cannot delay even for one second to continue being at the top leadership for Umno and BN’s future.”
The by-elections, prompted by the helicopter tragedy which killed two BN MPs who were campaigning for the Sarawak election, are also a God-given chance to save Malaysia, he said.
The two by-elections have been set to run simultaneously, with nomination day on June 5 and polling day fixed on June 18.
The seats became vacant after the demise of their incumbents, the late plantation industries and commodities deputy minister Noriah Kasnon and Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad in a helicopter crash on May 5 in Sarawak.
Both PAS and Amanah have expressed their interest in running for the seats.
PAS had stressed that it has more support in the areas while Amanah said it will discuss matters further in the next Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting.
Both seats were marginally lost by PAS in the 2013 general election, when PAS was part of the now-defunct opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat with PKR and DAP.