PETALING JAYA – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has to keep pursuing cooperation with PAS due to overlaps in the two parties’ support base, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said.

Despite PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad previously saying his party did not need PAS, Azmin asserted that it was critical for the Umno offshoot to avoid clashes with the Islamist party as both appeal to the rural Malay electorate.

“They certainly need to engage with PAS because their seats [are set] to be mostly PAS seats since they are not contesting in the Chinese majority seats.

“They [have to] go back to Malay majority seats, which at present are PAS seats. They certainly need to engage PAS and they need PAS more than they need us,” Azmin told Malay Mail Online yesterday, referring to PPBM.

The Selangor mentri besar then pointed out that PKR continued to maintain a working relationship with PAS, notably in Selangor where the two parties form the administration together with DAP.

He then urged his allies in the federal Opposition to set aside their differences in order to achieve the larger goal of winning the general election.

“All leaders must have the humility to sit down and discuss. We have proven it in Selangor. Selangor is a model where we can work together despite [having] differences,” Azmin said.

PPBM is caught between PAS and Pakatan Harapan parties DAP and Amanah, with the Islamist party insisting that suitors must not be partnered with either of its former ally from the defunct Pakatan Rakyat as well as its splinter party.

PAS and PPBM earlier this week formed a joint committee that was tasked with framing an outline for political cooperation between both parties ahead of the 14th general election that must be called by mid next year.

DAP has also sought to re-engage with the Islamist party despite the open hostility between the two stemming from their unresolved argument over PAS’s push to expand Islamic penal laws, but the latter remains adamant that it will not renew ties with the secular party.

Opposition parties continue to stress the importance of avoiding overlaps in the general election that would split their support base to the advantage of Barisan Nasional under the country’s first-past-the-post voting system, but continued acrimony involving DAP, PAS and Amanah has made this virtually unavoidable.

– Malay Mail