Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland phraseology of “curiouser and curiouser” comes to mind as there is no way PAS can win 40 parliamentary seats and five state governments without some form of electoral arrangement or alliance with UMNO.
The results of the general elections since 1959 shows that PAS achieved its best results in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 general elections when it was a member of the Barisan Alternative or Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition, as illustrated by the following chart (below):
In the last few days, PAS leaders have upped the ante and are talking about fielding 100 parliamentary candidates (an increase from the figure of 80 parliamentary contests cited before the PAS Muktamar last month) although they are still keeping their winning total to a “modest” 40!
If PAS fields 100 parliamentary candidates in the 14th General Election, it will be most number of candidates fielded by the party in any general elections – more than the 98 candidates fielded in the 1986 general election when PAS won only one seat, a victory percentage score of less than 1%!
PAS best results were in the 1999, 2008 and 2013 general elections with the record victory percentages of 43%, 39% and 29% respectively, winning 27 MPs out of 62 candidates in 1999, 23 MPs out of 66 candidates in 2008 and 21 MPs out of 73 candidates.
If the history of past general elections is any guide, it is unlikely that in a multi-cornered electoral contests in the 14th General Elections, PAS could win more than half a dozen parliamentary seats.
It would be a different scenario, however, if there is some electoral arrangement or alliance between PAS and UMNO, whether at the parliamentary, state or a mixture of parliamentary and state assembly contests.
But the crucial question in all these possible combinations and permutations of an electoral arrangement or alliance between UMNO and PAS is whether UMNO is prepared to concede seats, whether parliamentary or state assembly, to PAS.
This leads me to the question I posed on Saturday night at the joint meeting of DAP Branches in Gelang Patah in Skudai – whether UMNO is prepared to concede up to 40 parliamentary seats and five state governments to PAS in the 14GE, the declared objectives by PAS leaders?
The situation with regard to the PAS objective to win five state governments, namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Pahang and Selangor is even more “curiouser”.
Kelantan has been under a PAS government for six terms since the 1990 general election, with PAS winning 32 out 45 state assembly seats in 2013. The issue in the 14 GE is whether PAS can win Kelantan for the seventh term without Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
PAS won Terengganu in the 1999 general election and Kedah in the 2008 general election but lasted for only one term in both cases. In the 14GE, can PAS again win the state governments in Terengganu and Kedah, when in the 13GE, it won 14 out of 32 State Assembly seats in Terengganu and only nine out of 36 seats in Kedah in the 2013 general election?
PAS goal of capturing the Pahang and Selangor state governments are most far-fetched when even under the Pakatan Rakyat banner in the 2013 general election, it could only win three out of 42 seats in Pahang and 15 out of 56 seats in Selangor.
Without some form of electoral arrangement or alliance between UMNO and PAS, it is just not possible for PAS to win five state governments in the 14th General Election.
Another intriguing question is whether, even if the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is prepared to concede 40 parliamentary seats and five state governments of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Pahang and Selangor, to PAS in exchange for PAS support of Najib’s kleptocracy and 1MDB scandal, can Najib get UMNO support at national, divisional and ground levels to deliver:
(i) The conceding of 40 parliamentary seats from UMNO to PAS; and
(ii) PAS forming or leading five state governments of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Pahang and Selangor?
If UMNO concedes 40 parliamentary seats to PAS, UMNO will be left with some 100 parliamentary seats to contest in Peninsular Malaysia.
For the first time, PAS may end up with more or almost equal number of parliamentary seats as UMNO in Peninsular Malaysia.
Is this the meaning of the 71st UMNO anniversary celebrations marked with such fanfare and over a million ringgit of lucky draw prizes at Stadium Bukit Jalil on May 11?