ALOR SETAR, April 11 — PAS is eyeing a return to power in Kedah and the Islamist party is planning to rule alone this time, instead of being part of any coalition involving either Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Kedah PAS commissioner Ahmad Fakhruddin Sheikh Fakhrurazi rejected rumours that his party was toying with a partnership with rival Umno.
“Our fight has always been with Umno, but we will never want a coalition government because PAS wants to win it all,” he told Malay Mail in an interview at the Kompleks PAS here.
“It is unlikely that we will form a coalition government with them as we plan to win the state alone.”
To this end, he said PAS was working to regain the trust of voters, claiming that this was beginning to manifest during outreach efforts.
In 2008, PAS won Kedah as part of the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat pact.
The late Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak was made mentri besar, but issues with his administration allowed BN to regain the state in 2013.
From 2008 to 2013, the state chapter of PAS was plagued by infighting while residents also complained about Kedah’s apparent lack of development.
Ahmad Fakhruddin claimed that the factionalism was now a thing of the past and put it down to minor conflicts among some members.
“There were some who had differing opinions from PAS and they are no longer around, there’s nothing stopping us now,” he said.
Responding to reports of discontentment among the party grassroots stemming from rumours of a possibly collaboration with BN, he said there was no evidence of this.
Ahmad Fakhruddin also insisted the party’s support would not be cannibalised by PAS offshoot Amanah or leached away by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir is a Kedah native and reportedly still enjoys a significant degree of goodwill in the state.
“Grassroot support in PAS is not dwindling; the number of those leaving PAS to join parties like Amanah (Parti Amanah Negara) is as little as two per cent,” he said.
“Those numbers are least significant when we consider the strong support we have from those in Kedah who believed in our cause since the beginning.”
Ahmad Fakhruddin said that with an effective election machinery and campaigning, his party was assured of victory.
Among others, he said his party planned to tout its five years’ governing the state to show voters that PAS could govern effectively.
PAS also governs Kelantan alone and has done so since 1990, but the east coast state is among the least economically developed in the peninsula and Malaysia.
Despite severing ties with the PH pact, Ahmad Fakhruddin also believed his party could secure multi-racial backing.
“Fence-sitters from the Chinese, Indian and Siamese community will play a pivotal role in ensuring PAS’ success in Kedah,” he said.
“This is because they have seen how we function as the ruling party in the past, and many undecided voters are sick of BN’s play on politics and they want change.”
BN currently holds Kedah with just one seat more than the 19 needed for smallest possible majority to form the state government.
PAS is the second-best represented party, with seven seats. The remaining are held by the PH components.