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Azmin Ali Stuck Between DAP And PAS

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SHAH ALAM – A battle of wills is going on in Selangor between DAP and PAS, with PKR and Mentri Besar Azmin Ali is stuck in between.

With PAS declaring that it wants to sever ties with DAP, the socialist party now wants the Islamist party to make an official announcement that the decision does not cover Selangor PAS.

A DAP leader who requested anonymity said that since PAS was still part of the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government, it was only right that it announce that the motion passed by its Ulama Council at the recent muktamar did not apply in the state.

“The announcement must come from the party’s top leadership or the Syura Council, not just the Selangor PAS leadership,” he said, brushing off the recent statement by state PAS commissioner Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad that he and his colleagues were willing to discuss the issue with their state DAP counterparts.

Sources close to PAS leaders however said the Islamist party would never give in to DAP’s demands. Doing so, he said, would be tantamount to announcing that the state PAS was turning its back on the Ulama Council’s decision for the sake of maintaining its positions in the Selangor government.

About 5,000 PAS members are employed or engaged by the Selangor government.

The DAP leader, when asked if what the party was ultimately aiming for was the dissolution of the state assembly and a state election, said that would be a folly. He said, DAP, PAS, PKR and even Barisan Nasional could not afford to face a state election now as the people were already disgusted with the political turmoil in the state.

“Many may just not come out to vote,” he said. He added that discussions were under way between the party, PKR and a splinter group from PAS to form a new Pakatan, minus the Islamist party’s main chapter.

He said the outcome of the plan to repackage and formalise Pakatan with a new identity and member parties would be known in a few months.

“We are expecting the next general election within the next 18 months and there will be a brand new repackaged state government in Selangor before then,” he added.

A PKR leader said Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president, was stuck in a difficult position in the battle of wills between DAP and PAS because he has strong relationships with both parties.

He said that although PAS had acted arbitrarily and gone against the spirit of Pakatan by planning to implement hudud in Kelantan, Azmin could not initiate drastic action against the party because he would not want to lose support among Muslims, especially those in his Gombak parliamentary constituency, which is a PAS stronghold.

The PKR leader also said that Azmin was indebted to PAS, which had supported him during the mentri besar crisis last year, and was instrumental in him helming Selangor now. – The Star

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