SHAH ALAM – The 63rd PAS Muktamar (assembly) PAS, to be held end of the month, is expected to determine whether the party will end or maintain its political cooperation or ‘tahaluf siyasi” with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
This being that several PAS divisions, namely in Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, have passed a motion for it to be terminated.
PAS Ulama Syura Council secretary Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi said the issue on PAS-PKR political cooperation will be a topic for discussion at the party’s coming assembly.
Is PAS prepared to end its political cooperation with PKR? If it does, it will have huge impact on the political cooperation in the Selangor government’s administration, which is led by PKR.
The situation would see PAS in an awkward situation for it to continue to be in the state government’s administration.
There are three PAS state executive council members in Selangor, namely Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad (housing, building management and urban life); Zaidy Abdul Talib (infrastructure and public utilities, agriculture modernisation and agro-based industry) and Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (Islamic religious affairs, Malay customs and heritage, rural development and traditional village).
Relations between PAS and PKR have been strained following the decision by PKR to maintain its cooperation with DAP and also in forging ties with Parti Amanah Negara (PAN), which is a splinter of PAS.
This was further aggravated when Selangor Menteri Besar Selangor Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is also PKR deputy president, made a mockery of Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz ‘s defeat in the party’s divisional election last March 18 for the Pengkalan Chepa deputy leader post.
Mohamad Azmin made the criticism in response to a statement by Nik Mohamad Abduh, who is PAS Youth leader, that PAS would win Selangor in the coming general election.
A political analyst, Che Hamdan Che Mohd Razali, of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) described relations between PAS and PKR in Selangor as a “love-hate relationship” .
“Hence, there are times when leaders of both parties went overboard in making their comments, but they need each other to continue to be in power in Selangor,” he told Bernama.
The lecturer at the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies at the UiTM campus in Raub, Pahang, opined that although the PAS assembly would table a motion for the party leadership to sever ties with PKR, it would not happen until the dissolution of the Parliament and the Selangor State Assembly.
He said PAS and PKR leaders in Selangor still shared an understanding on the need to maintain the state government’s administration.
“The position held by PAS leaders in Selangor provides them edge to pursue the party’s struggle, as well as to get more supporters, through large-scale programmes organised using the state government as the platform ,” he added.
As such, he said, the Selangor PAS leaders had been avoiding a confrontation with PKR on the realisation that PAS and PKR needed one another, as reflected in the 2008 general election results.
There are 56 state seats in Selangor with 14 held by DAP, PKR (13), PAS (13), BN (12), PAN (two) and Independent (two).
Meanwhile, a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Social Science and Humanity, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Associate Professor Datuk Dr Samsul Adabi Mamat, said the political cooperation between PAS and PKR , if terminated, would have a huge impact on the Selangor government’s administration.
However, it would no be to an extent of a reshuffle in the state cabinet with their term ending soon, he said.
He said the real effect would be known during the coming general election when PAS would be sought after and at that time the party should state its stand on whether it wanted to have the “tahaluf siyasi” with Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Harapan or to be on its own.
“PAS is now like a golden egg which is sought after by two parties,” he said, adding that this was in the wake of the party targeting 40 parliamentary seats in the coming general election.
“PAS also has a huge role and influence in Selangor, which PKR cannot deny. Mohamed Azmin, if he wants to remain strong, must be at good terms with PAS.
“It is here that PAS can show its strength, the party sever ties with PKR and the impact will affect Mohamed Azmin’s influence, as well as PKR, in Selangor,” he added.
PAS 63rd Muktamar will be held in Alor Setar, Kedah, from April 27 to May 1.