Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali has reiterated that he will not cooperate with PAS in the coming general election, Nanyang Siang Pau reported today.
"I have tolerated them for some time, and I have exercised great restraint," he said in an interview with the Chinese daily.
Azmin denied engaging in any seat negotiations with PAS in Selangor, nor making any secret agreement with the party.
The menteri besar said he only allowed PAS to continue being part of the Selangor government as they were mandated by the people as a component of Pakatan Rakyat in the 2013 election.
Nanyang Siang Pau described Azmin as a leader known for his patience, with him noting thrice during the interview that he had tolerated the Islamic party.
"I tolerated PAS not because I like its president Abdul Hadi Awang, but because they had not deviated from our (state government) policies, which treated the people fairly.
"Following this, we are expecting more three-cornered fights (in Selangor) and we are ready for that. Based on our track record and policies that are beneficial to the people, we will be able to retain power in Selangor," Azmin said.
As for Hadi, he claimed the PAS president did not understand the political situation in Selangor, Penang and Perak, which has given rise to discontent among state PAS leaders.
One instance of this, according to Azmin, is Hadi (photo) not understanding that Selangor PAS has to work with non-Muslims – unlike in Kelantan and Terengganu – since the state is run by Malaysians.
"He (Hadi) did not understand this. Selangor PAS continues to survive as the party was supported by non-Malays and non-Muslims," he said.
Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president, believes the success stories of opposition rule in Selangor and Penang are proof that Pakatan Harapan is ready to take Putrajaya.
"People are confident (in our ability) to rule Putrajaya," he said, adding that the two states were among the greatest contributors to the national economy.
Malaysiakini has attempted to contact Selangor PAS chief Sallehin Mukhyi for his response.
Frontline has moved
The Harapan vice-president declared that the opposition’s hunting ground is no longer limited to urban constituencies, such as Petaling Jaya and Subang.
"We have moved our frontline to the rural constituencies, such as diehard Malay areas, Felda settlements, Sabah, Sarawak, Johor, Perak and the remote areas in Pahang," Azmin said.
"The Malays are feeling insecure with Umno, they are worried and disappointed too. They will seek change if they feel that their rights will be guaranteed.
"Selangor was once an Umno fortress, but the people chose Pakatan Rakyat (in 2008) after knowing the coalition could protect their rights," Azmin added.
The biggest challenge for the coming general election, he said, was that rural Malays have relatively little access to information, which to him entailed that Harapan should do more to reach this demography.