KUALA LUMPUR – May 2, 2017: Political pundits don’t think it is likely Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali will call for a snap election should the PAS leadership group endorse a resolution to break away from PKR.
They feel that it would instead be better for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government to hold on to its position as it would still retain a majority in the legislative assembly even if PAS goes on its own.
There will still be 29 PH representatives should PAS break away. PAS has 13 representatives, BN 12 and independent two.
PAS delegates passed a motion to sever ties with PKR at the party’s 63rd annual general assembly on Sunday but the final decision is in the hands of the Syura Council.
The move by PAS is seen as potentially weakening the Selangor government to a point where it may force Azmin to call for a snap election to prevent power from switching to the BN in case there are defections.
Associate Professor Jeniri Amir of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said Azmin is not likely to do so because PH will not stand a chance in a snap election.
“PKR cannot deny the fact that the support of PAS is very important to ensure the opposition coalition will still hold power in the state.
“They (PKR) are totally going to wait for the next general election, otherwise, they will only manage to retain a few (seats).”
For geostrategist Azmi Hassan, it is highly unlikely for Azmin to call for a snap polls as PH still hold the majority, unless representatives from PKR, DAP or Amanah defect.
“Pakatan Rakyat formed the state government with the help of PAS, therefore without PAS it is doubtful PH can retain its majority.”
However, Azmi said that calling for an early election may go both ways as PAS will likely fail to retain some of its seats won with the help of its former Pakatan Rakyat allies.
On another note, both agree that PAS representatives in the Selangor government need to resign from their posts if the PAS-PKR ties is severed.
There are currently three PAS executive councillors in the state government – Selangor party commissioner Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad, his deputy Datuk Dr. Ahmad Yunus Hairi and state party treasurer Zaidy Abdul Talib.
PKR leaders insist that it would be better for PAS to continue its cooperation with their party.
PKR vice-president Dr. Xavier Jayakumar said breaking away would not benefit either of them.
PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said PAS should focus on bringing about change in Selangor by embracing the differences among all opposition parties.
“We can still work together in a different form like electoral pact to fight one to one in the next general election. PKR is open to any kind of partnership as long as it doesn’t cause three-cornered fights,” said Zuraida, who is also the Ampang member of parliament.