As a party with wide experience and deep support among its grassroots, Pas’s performance in the just-concluded by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar was an embarassment, said an analyst.
“Pas with its experience and grassroots support, its performance is quite an embarassment, its majority of votes was not that big, indeed it came out third in Sungai Besar despite fielding a popular candidate such as Dr Abd Rani OSman, and still failed to leave Amanah far behind,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who heads the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
However, he cautioned Amanah not to expect Pas to allow any space to the nascent party.
Speaking to Amanah, the party’s official organ, Wan Saiful predicted a bigger challenge ahead between Amanah and Pas.
And one way for Amanah to ward off this challenge, he said, was to build its own support base, rather than latching on to other parties.
The recent twin by-elections in the two Malay-majority seats saw Barisan Nasional being returned with bigger majorities.
Amanah came out second in Sungai Besar, while in Kuala Kangsar, it came third.
Wan Saiful, who once led the pro-Pas students association Hizbi United Kingdom, said Pas should not dismiss Amanah.
“It’s an embarassment for Pas. I think it will continue to be so,” he added.
As for Amanah, it will have to build its own support base.
“Amanah came out second beating the Pas candidate (in Sungai Besar) due to support from DAP and PKR. WHen their votes are distributed, it is clear Amanah still lags far behind.
“The grab for votes will be greater and there is no way Pas will allow Amanah to replace them in their seats,” said Wan Saiful.