CHUKAI, Nov 28 — The absence of the PAS candidate from the Kemaman by-election campaign rounds of Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin showed that PAS and Bersatu lack sincerity in their cooperation, said Barisan Nasional (BN) strategic communications director Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

He said it also showed how much respect PAS candidate Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar had for the president of Bersatu, a partner of PAS in PN.

“They can see the cracks in Bersatu and do not think Bersatu is dependable. That is why to him Bersatu leaders do not deserve respect,” he told reporters after accompanying BN candidate Tan Sri Gen (Rtd) Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor on his campaign here today.

Yesterday, Muhyiddin, a former prime minister, attended two programmes here to help Ahmad Samsuri’s campaign machinery but the Terengganu menteri besar himself was absent, including from the premier rally, despite earlier publicity on the latter’s attendance.

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Ahmad Shabery, a former Kemaman Member of Parliament (MP), said it was not unusual for PAS to behave this way as history showed that PAS would make use of its partners as long as it was beneficial to do so.

He said the action of several Bersatu MPs in declaring support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim gave PAS leaders the impression that Bersatu could no longer be depended on and need not be respected.

“That happened with Semangat 46 and DAP. They (PAS) were also together with Umno but they would ignore their partners who they feel are no longer useful. This will also happen to Bersatu,” he said.

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In the 11 days of campaigning so far, Ahmad Samsuri was seldom seen going on his rounds to meet voters.

Asked about this, Ahmad Shabery said it was up to voters to decide whether they want to be represented by an MP who is hard to meet.

“If even before becoming an MP Ahmad Samsuri claims official duties are preventing him from meeting voters, what more can the people expect if he wins?

“If he can win without showing up, he will not think much about voters after this,” he said. — Bernama