KUCHING, Nov 8 — Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) Sarawak will leave it to its central leadership to negotiate with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) on the Islamist party possibly contesting in the coming state election.

PAS Sarawak assistant secretary Syamsul Bahrie Mohamad said such discussion would be in keeping with the ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ spirit.

“PAS Sarawak will leave the matter to the discretion of the PAS central leadership to negotiate with GPS,” he told reporters recently.

He said the party is particularly interested in fielding a candidate in Beting Maro after having received positive feedback from voters there.

Syamsul Bahrie said this is coupled with the encouraging number of votes the party’s candidate in the constituency had received in past elections.

“PAS is confident of being able to compete and it is not impossible for PAS to win the Beting Maro seat,” he said.

In 2011, Barisan Nasional’s Razaili Gapor made his electoral debut by defeating PAS’ Abang Ahmad Kerdee Abang Masagus with a majority of just 391.

Razaili defended his seat in 2016 with a significantly improved majority of 1,707 votes, defeating Hamidah Mokhtar of PAS and Andri Zulkarnaen Hamden of Parti Amanah Negara.

Aside from Beting Maro, PAS Sarawak has recently voiced its interest in fielding candidates in Kemena, Semariang, Pantai Damai, Muara Tuang, Sadong Jaya, Sebuyau, Jepak, Lambir, Pujut and Samalaju.

PAS and GPS are part of the federal government, but do not have ties at state level.

GPS leaders have stressed on several occasions that the coalition will contest all 82 state seats, leaving no room for PAS or another federal affiliate, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) whose sole assemblyman in Sarawak is Krian incumbent Datuk Ali Biju. — Borneo Post Online