MAJOR HADI U-TURN OR MORE DECEPTION TO WEAKEN HARAPAN: PAS ALLOWS STATE LEADERS TO CONTINUE TALKS WITH PKR, BERSATU BUT INSISTS DECISION TO CONTEST AGAINST BOTH HARAPAN & BN STILL HOLDS

PAS has agreed to allow its grassroots leaders to continue talks with rival opposition parties, PKR and Bersatu, at the state level in preparation for the 14th general election.

This is despite the Islamist party’s official stand that it has no alliances with opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan – of which PKR and Bersatu are members.

The decision to keep communication channels open with PH parties opens up the possibility of future pacts between the Islamist party and PKR and Bersatu at the state level.

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that PAS’ latest decision was made last week at a retreat with all its top leaders and ulama at a resort on Pangkor Island, Perak.

They included its president, Abdul Hadi Awang, spiritual leader Hashim Jasin, the central committee and its syura council.

If successful, such alliances will improve the chances of victory for opposition parties as it ensures straight fights with the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Officially, PAS and PH said they are willing to face each other and BN at GE14.

Historically, multi-party contests have always benefited BN as votes for the opposition are then split.

The decision at the retreat will the open the way for the Islamist party’s state leaders to continue to pursue local alliances with PH parties despite the lack of a national stand on political cooperation.

“For instance, if Kedah PAS wants to talk with Bersatu in Kedah, the retreat has agreed to allow it,  ” said a source who attended the retreat.

The decision received wholehearted support from those who attended the retreat, the source added.

However, the retreat’s participants also reaffirmed the party’s decision to prepare to contest against PH and BN in multi-candidate seats.

Two weeks ago, PH decided to not have any political cooperation with PAS, as the Islamist party has decided to go ahead with plans to form its own coalition called Gagasan Sejahtera Rakyat (Gagasan).

Previously, The Malaysian Insight reported that PAS leaders in Kelantan, Selangor and Kedah have asked for permission from the Islamist party’s top leadership to form electoral pacts with PH in these states.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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