SHAH ALAM: Selangor Pas has shot down any possibility of a political cooperation with Barisan Nasional (BN) despite agreeing to the coalition's wish to contest in the Sungai Kandis state constituency by-election.
Selangor Pas election director Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir said the Islamic party's move in allowing BN to field Datuk Lokman Noor Adam in the by-election came following a mutual agreement between both parties.
However, Pas' agreement, stressed Roslan, did not indicate any possibility of forging a political partnership with BN.
"Since both parties (BN and Pas) are now in the opposition bloc, we (Pas) had agreed to be a good member in this case. In Sungai Kandis, we preferred a one-on-one fight and we had asked that Pas be allowed to contest. However, Umno's demand in a bid to wrest the seat was stronger and we agreed to it.
"It shows that we only have a cooperation as a loose opposition bloc. It is definitely not a political cooperation. We will not participate in BN's campaign although we gave way for them to contest," Roslan told the New Straits Times Press.
Roslan was commenting on New Sunday Times frontpage which suggested that Umno and Pas are 'coming together' for the Sungai Kandis battle.
Newly-elected Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said he hoped that both parties would continue to collaborate in the future. He had said it was the best arrangement in the current political climate and that Umno would like to establish a solid understanding with Pas.
The by-election was called following the death of its three-term assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei on July 2 due to lymphoma.
In the 14th General Election, the Sungai Kandis seat saw a four-cornered fight where Shuhaimi defended his seat against BN's Datuk Kamaruzzaman Johari, Pas’ Mohd Yusof Abdullah and Parti Rakyat Malaysia’s Hanafiah Husin.
Shuhaimi won with 23,998 votes, with a majority of 12,480, defeating Kamaruzzaman who obtained 11,518 votes. Mohd Yusof received 7,573 votes, while Hanafiah got 76 votes.
In the by-election, a three-cornered fight is taking place between PKR's Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni, BN's Lokman and independent, K. Murthy.
Despite not lending their support to BN through campaigns during the by-election, Selangor Pas said it would convince its members and supporters in Sungai Kandis to let the opposition be given a chance to win, said Roslan.
This will be done through several Pas programmes to engage its members and supporters which are set to be held in the constituency.
"We will explain to them that Pakatan Harapan (PH) has the two-third majority so giving them one seat will not make a difference. However, we will tell them that giving one seat to the opposition would make a difference in terms of better check and balance.
"It is our hope that Pas members will not increase PH's strength but give a chance to the opposition to win the seat," said Roslan.