PAS’ powerful Shura Council has called for straight fights in the upcoming Melaka election, as a clash between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN), of which the Islamist party is a part, appears imminent at the Nov 20 polls.
The call by the Shura Council, the party’s influential body made up of its senior religious scholars, came even as leaders of Umno and Bersatu, the lynchpins of the BN and PN coalitions respectively, said their candidates were prepared to enter into three-cornered contests which analysts say would benefit the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Following a meeting today, the council said it was up to the party’s central committee to decide on an election strategy based on the principle of denying victory to PH.
“It needs to be adjusted to the party’s tactics and strategies,” it said. “The council leaves it to the central working committee to make a decision on the best strategy to win, in line with Clause 84 of the PAS constitution.”
PAS is part of the PN coalition headed by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin. It also signed a charter of cooperation with Umno when both parties were part of the opposition under PH rule.
The charter called Muafakat Nasional however took a back seat in the wake of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s declaration of war against Bersatu, which led to the collapse of Muhyiddin’s government in August.
The election in Melaka was triggered after four state assemblymen withdrew their support for the chief minister – former chief minister Idris Haron (Sungai Udang), Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundor), Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu) and Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas).
Umno said on Oct 29 that it would continue its cooperation with PAS for the state polls.
Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said this was in line with the resolutions of the party’s general assembly last year, including to strengthen Muafakat Nasional.
Bersatu meanwhile said on Oct 30 that it took note of this decision.
Melaka is among the Umno strongholds that BN lost in the last general election.