Malaysia Dateline

Faiz Fadzil

Sungai Besar, Kuala Kangsar more suited to Amanah, says youth leader

The compositions of voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, where by-elections will be held next month, are more suited to Amanah, says the party’s deputy youth leader Faiz Fadzil.

As such, Faiz hoped its allies in Pakatan Harapan would give the new party a chance to take on Pas, which has insisted on joining the contest despite multi-cornered fights working in favour of Barisan Nasional (BN) in the two Malay-majority seats.

“Give a chance to Amanah, a political party which moves with the contemporary struggle,” he said after attending an Amanah Youth meeting at the party’s headquarters yesterday.

Faiz said any clash between Pakatan Harapan parties should be avoided on the basis of their alliance, unlike Pas which has stayed out of any opposition pact.

“The case of overlapping candidates among Pakatan Harapan, as seen in the recent Sarawak elections, should not repeat in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.

“It is inevitable for Pas to place its candidates as the party is not part of Pakatan Harapan, but we respect the spirit of democracy and Pas’s right to contest.”

The Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections will be held on June 18, following the deaths of MPs Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Datuk Wan Muhammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad in a helicopter crash in Sarawak early this month.

Although top Pas leaders admitted a multi-cornered fight could work in favour of BN, they insisted the party’s right to contest both by-elections, saying the consituencies had traditionally “belonged to PAS”.

“Both are traditional PAS constituencies and as such, we are adamant to continue this tradition by fielding candidates in both seats,” said Pas deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

The decision has shaken Pas’s fragile relationship with PKR in Selangor, with Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is also the PKR deputy president, reportedly giving an ultimatum to Pas to quit the state government by next week if it was adamant on contesting.

Azmin has however denied issuing such an ultimatum, saying negotiations with Pas were ongoing, although Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang denied discussing seats allocation with PKR.

In the 2013 elections, the late Noriah defeated PAS’s Mohamed Salleh Husin by a 399-vote majority, far less than the 5,000-vote majority she gained in 2008.

Sungai Besar’s electorate, with 42,837 voters in the last general election, is made up of 66% Malays, 31% Chinese and 2% Indians.

Faiz, meanwhile, urged the Pakatan Harapan leadership to make the right decision as both by-elections could act as a yardstick for the coalition’s chances at the next general election.

“The people are watching. Pakatan Harapan must have a strategy and be united to defeat BN,” he said.