Ambiga Sreenevasan fears BN would secure a two-thirds majority in parliament in the coming general election, which the ruling coalition had been denied in the two previous national polls.
The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president warned that this scenario could happen if those in Pakatan Harapan pushing for three-cornered fights were wrong about their calculations.
Therefore, Ambiga cautioned against taking risks and advised Harapan to continue negotiating with PAS to ensure straight fights in the election.
“I have never been in favour of three-cornered fights because in the vast majority of cases in the past, save for where the third candidate is an independent, BN has the advantage,” she told Malaysiakini.
The former Bar Council president said there were surveys which showed this, but she also acknowledged that there were polls which claimed otherwise.
“But for me, why take the risk when historically, the evidence is that it works against the opposition? Why experiment in such an important election?” she asked.
Ambiga also stressed that she is not suggesting that the opposition should work with PAS.
“Just try and negotiate to make sure they do not contest where Harapan does. If negotiations fail, so be it. Then there is no choice. But if you can save a few seats then it is worth it.
“My fear is that if those pushing the three-cornered fights are wrong, we are at risk of handing BN a two-thirds majority from which we can never recover again.
“I know the problems with PAS. But I have a bigger problem with BN getting two-thirds. For me it’s just not worth the risk,” she added.
Ambiga pointed out that negotiations with PAS is perceived as working with the Islamist party but this is not the case.
“It’s making sure the opposition is not torpedoed out of existence. In this regard, I would like to know if those in Harapan have considered this outcome if their statistics are wrong.
“When there are two sets of statistics showing diametrically opposite results, the prudent course is always preferable.
“The idea must be to minimise three-cornered fights as much as possible. It is inevitable in instances, but an effort must be made to do so,” she stressed.
Yesterday, the Harapan presidential council decided to immediately end talks with PAS.