KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — Johor Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) said today that it is willing to discuss with PAS issues like seat allocations ahead of the next general election to avoid three-cornered fights when facing ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), the party’s deputy chairman said.
Johor Amanah deputy chairman Dzulkefly Ahmad said that this was contingent, however, on opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan’s approval although he insisted that the negotiation process was crucial to ensure a win against BN.
“Amanah will identify seats it would like to contest in Johor. At the same time, we will conduct discussions (with PAS) if Pakatan Harapan is agreeable to this.
“It is important for Amanah to focus on seats with potential, and fielding winnable candidates. But, we are keeping the option open because the priority is to avoid three-cornered fights, which would not help in our aim to gain victory in the polls,” he was quoted as saying in local English daily the New Straits Times today.
He pointed to Amanah’s deputy president Salahuddin Ayub having previously said that the “party was open to possibilities”, which included a discussion with PAS for the general election.
“This is needed, as there is a possibility of Amanah facing off with PAS for certain seats,” he said.
PAS, however, reiterated its stance that it would not work with Amanah, a party made of up former PAS progressives, which applies to its Johor divisions as well.
“There is no relationship between Amanah and PAS, neither are there relations between the parties at the national level.
“Johor PAS adheres to this, and we will not discuss with Amanah about seat allocations,” state PAS commissioner Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed was quoted as saying.
PAS vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah told Malay Mail Online on September 11 that it will reject any offer to join a new federal opposition pact so long as it included leaders from Amanah as the latter consisted of former PAS members.
Pakatan Harapan was formed on September 22 without PAS on board, due to its poor relations with secular DAP and breakaway party Amanah.
PAS and DAP’s disagreement over hudud led to the disintegration of the previous opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat while Amanah was formed by PAS progressives who were ousted during its annual congress in June.
On October 4, PAS Youth chief Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said that PAS will only work with political parties that accepted Islam as a whole including issues like hudud.