PAS drops Sandakan by-election, but tells supporters to vote Opposition

Takiyuddin called upon PAS members and supporters within the constituency to cast their votes in accordance with the party’s stand, and support the candidate representing the Opposition. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Takiyuddin called upon PAS members and supporters within the constituency to cast their votes in accordance with the party’s stand, and support the candidate representing the Opposition. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — PAS has decided not to contest in the May 11 Sandakan parliamentary by-election, its secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said today.

He said the decision was made by the party’s central leadership during a meeting Monday, adding that its members have been asked to support whoever is fielded as the Opposition candidate instead in the Sabah federal seat vacant following the death of its DAP elected representative.

“PAS hopes the by-election will produce results that will further strengthen the Opposition, particularly in seats which had formerly been BN’s,” he said in a statement.

Takiyuddin was referring to the three terms when Barisan Nasional held Sandakan, from 1973 to 2013, with interruptions in between.

“A victory by the Opposition in Sandakan will certainly make the check and balance process in the Parliament more effective, for the good of the country and the rakyat.

“In line with this, Sandakan PAS and Sabah PAS in particular will direct its local electoral machinery to assist the Opposition candidate in facing this by-election,” he said.

PAS said on April 2 that it was ready to field a candidate in the Sabah seat.

Takiyuddin called upon its members and supporters within the constituency to cast their votes in accordance with the party’s stand, and support the candidate representing the Opposition.

To date only Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat Sabah has announced its candidate in the form of economist Liew Wean Chee, while former oil palm executive Chia Siew Yung also announced his intention to run as an independent.

Nomination Day is on April 27.

The Sandakan seat fell vacant after its MP Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt died of a heart attack on March 28.

Sabah is led by Parti Warisan Sabah, which is affiliated to the federal Pakatan Harapan government.