Analysts: PKR likely to stay the course in Selangor if PAS withdraws support

PAS deputy president, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man speaks during the 63rd Muktamar held at the Kompleks PAS Kedah in Alor Setar May 1, 2017. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
PAS deputy president, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man speaks during the 63rd Muktamar held at the Kompleks PAS Kedah in Alor Setar May 1, 2017. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 ― The PKR-led administration in Selangor will likely continue with just a simple majority if the rumour that PAS state assemblymen will withdraw their support for Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali turns out to be true, political analysts have said.

The analysts polled by Malay Mail Online explained that the state government can still function with just support from Pakatan Harapan component parties, and it would also be an unfavourable decision for Azmin to dissolve the state assembly.

“With just a simple majority, the state government can no longer legislate any laws that needs the two-thirds vote. But any laws that only need a simple majority, that would still be possible,” said Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, a political analyst from Universiti Utara Malaysia.

“The general elections will be just around the corner, if there is a change to the Selangor government, the effect will be minimal,” the associate professor added.

Similarly, University of Malaya’s political analyst Datuk Mohamad Abu Bakar said the withdrawal of PAS’s support will not affect administration as long as it does not result in a minority government.

“Otherwise, especially if PAS makes a coalition with Umno and the independent representatives, that can bring ruin,” the professor told Malay Mail Online.

“It’s better if the current government can continue until the general elections. But if we were to judge its performance, it should be based on its whole two terms, not the end of it.”

The coalition state government made of Pakatan Harapan components PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara, and fellow Opposition party PAS, currently hold 42 seats out of 56.

PAS’ advisory Syura Council formally sealed the proposal to sever ties with PKR on May 11, which then cast a scrutiny on its three party’s representatives in the PKR-led Selangor government.

A news report by The Star yesterday claimed that the Islamist party will no longer side with the PKR-led state government if its state executive councillors were to be forced to resign, leaving the coalition with only 29 seats, a simple majority.

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has since said no such order was given out by the top leadership or even by PAS Selangor commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi.

Constitutional lawyer Syahredzan Johan said it will be business as usual as long as there is no motion of no confidence against Azmin, or a meeting by assemblymen with Selangor Sultan expressing such sentiment.

The government can even operate as a minority government, he said, although it would still prove problematic.

“If Azmin loses the majority, he has the option of either stepping down or asking for the dissolution of the assembly. If that happens, then the ball is in the Sultan’s court and his highness is able even say ‘no’,” Syahredzan explained.

The lawyer said the state assembly can be dissolved for a state-wide election even before the general elections, but that does not stop the possibility that it can be dissolved again when the federal polls happen.

“I don’t think Azmin will do that, it is too risky for Azmin to face the onslaught of the Barisan Nasional machinery,” said Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s political analyst Faisal Hazis, referring to a dissolution.

“That would be an unwise decision. If PAS decides to leave, Azmin will take time to consolidate within his own party and among its partners.”

Azizuddin concurred with Faisal, saying that “Pakatan Harapan tends to not favour an election either earlier nor later than the general elections”.

But above all, the Politics and International Relations lecturer said there is little reason for PAS to direct its Selangor assemblymen to take back their support for PKR and Azmin.

“If they take the decision to be neutral, then they will be forced to let go all politically-appointed position. They have to resign not just as state executive councillors, but also from local councils and village development committees,” he said.

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