Malaysia: PAS grassroots leaders get okay to hold talks with PKR, PPBM – 13 Sep 2017

  • PAS has agreed to allow its grassroots leaders to continue talks with rival opposition parties, PKR and Bersatu, at the state level in preparation for the 14th general election. This is despite the Islamist party’s official stand that it has no alliances with opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan – of which PKR and Bersatu are members.
  • The decision to keep communication channels open with PH parties opens up the possibility of future pacts between the Islamist party and PKR and Bersatu at the state level.
  • Sources told The Malaysian Insight that PAS’ latest decision was made last week at a retreat with all its top leaders and ulama at a resort on Pangkor Island, Perak. They included its president, Abdul Hadi Awang, spiritual leader Hashim Jasin, the central committee and its syura council.
  • If successful, such alliances will improve the chances of victory for opposition parties as it ensures straight fights with the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. Historically, multi-party contests have always benefited BN as votes for the opposition are then split.
  • The decision at the retreat will the open the way for the Islamist party’s state leaders to continue to pursue local alliances with PH parties despite the lack of a national stand on political cooperation.
  • The decision received wholehearted support from those who attended the retreat, the source added. However, the retreat’s participants also reaffirmed the party’s decision to prepare to contest against PH and BN in multi-candidate seats.

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