PKR still hopeful of straight fights in Sarawak battle despite PAS-DAP clash

Despite PAS’s declaration last week of its readiness to take on DAP in the hornbill state, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali claimed today the matter was not final. — Picture by choo choy may
Despite PAS’s declaration last week of its readiness to take on DAP in the hornbill state, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali claimed today the matter was not final. — Picture by choo choy may

PETALING JAYA, Feb 1 — PKR believes there is still room for discussion with PAS over the matter of ensuring straight fights between the opposition and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the coming Sarawak state elections, deputy president Azmin Ali said.

Despite PAS’s declaration last week of its readiness to take on DAP in the hornbill state, Azmin claimed today the matter was not final.

“This is normal in politics. We will discuss,” Azmin told reporters here after launching two more free bus service routes by the Selangor state government and the Petaling Jaya City Council.

“Our principle is still the same, it should be one on one. We are still hoping for that,” he said.

“One should not put party interests above the interest of Sarawakians,” he added.

Azmin also insisted that PKR is “fully prepared” to face the elections regardless of the date.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem recently reportedly proposed April 8 as nomination day and April 19 as polling day.

On Saturday, Bernama reported PAS as saying that the Islamist opposition party was ready to face the DAP for the Sarawak election and that they will field candidates for 11 seats in the state.

This may result in three-cornered fights in a number of seats during the polls, which is expected to be held in April.

PAS and DAP, once allies under the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) umbrella, split late last year over their differing views on the implementation of Islamic laws in Malaysia as well as the growing conservatism in the Islamist party under its president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

This led to expulsion of several progressive leaders from PAS’s top leadership who later formed the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah). It also resulted in PR’s dissolution.

Subsequently, Amanah worked with PKR and DAP to form the new opposition coalition called Pakatan Harapan.

In the 2011 Sarawak election, PKR won three out of the 49 state seats it contested, while the DAP won 12 of 15 seats, a feat that caused a major dent in BN’s armour in what was traditionally known as the pact’s fixed deposit state.

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