Both PKR, PAS will suffer in GE14 if Selangor tiff worsens, pundits say

By Zurairi AR
PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said although his party was satisfied by 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s explanation, they didn’t agree to ‘a few things’. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 ― The brewing discontent within the Selangor state legislative assembly will affect not only PAS, but also PKR in the next general elections if it continues, political analysts said.

Should PAS assemblymen withdraw their support for the PKR-led government, it would lead to a lack of confidence among voters to elect Pakatan Harapan to continue governing the second most industrial state, they said.

PKR, DAP and PAS have formed a coalition government in Selangor for two terms since 2008, with Pakatan Rakyat formalised in April 2008 after the 12th general election. Although Pakatan Rakyat broke up in 2015 and was replaced with Pakatan Harapan, with Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) taking PAS’ place in the pact, the PKR-DAP-PAS administration remained in Selangor.   

“This will affect not just PAS, but also PKR. PKR has dominated Selangor. If they can't stay on and give a good example, the negative image will be passed on to other states,” said University of Malaya's Datuk Mohamad Abu Bakar.

“Similarly, if PAS can't cooperate in Selangor, they may repeat that in other states, although PKR does not have the majority elsewhere like in Selangor.”

The professor warned that any internal conflicts in its “model state” would lead to instability, and consequently tarnish the image of Pakatan Harapan.

The coalition state government made of Pakatan Harapan components PKR, DAP and Amanah, and fellow federal Opposition party PAS, currently holds 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 representatives in the PKR-led Selangor government.

A news report by The Star on Thursday claimed that the Islamist party will no longer side with the PKR-led state government if its three 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.

Universiti Utara Malaysia's Azizuddin Sani agreed with Mohamad that both PKR and PAS would take a hit, but predicted that any shake-up in Selangor would inevitably send ripples within the latter.

“In the context of Selangor, there are many mixed seats, so PAS cannot win by standing alone. It has to take side or they will be sidelined,” the political analyst said.

The associate professor said PAS' Islamic agenda is no longer exclusive since it has also been taken up by rival Umno, inadvertently turning the Islamist party irrelevant with the times.

Similarly, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's associate professor Faisal Hazis said any instability may turn away PAS' less committed supporters.

“They may retain the loyalists, but set to lose the Pakatan Rakyat supporters and non-partisan supporters,” Faisal said, warning that the recent decisions PAS has made run counter to its aspirations to be a federal party.