KOTA BARU: PAS is focusing on marginal seats to maintain its grip on Kelantan, as 69% of the state constituencies appeared grey and black for the Islamist party.
Although PAS won the state by a comfortable two-thirds majority in the last general election, it risks losing in constituencies that recorded narrow margins of victory in the last elections.
Of the 45 state seats, only 14 are relatively “safe” for PAS, while 28 are deemed grey (where the majority vote is less than 56%), and another three Umno strongholds namely Nenggiri, Paloh and Kuala Balah are viewed as impregnable black areas for PAS.
In the last GE, PAS retained power for the sixth consecutive term when it won 32 state seats, while its rival Umno secured 12 seats, and its former ally PKR won only one seat.
Kelantan PAS Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari said they need to win the marginal seats to retain power.
“Although we won handsomely in the last GE, we should not be overconfident.
“We have to keep the momentum going to spread our green influence far and wide,” he said.
In Kelantan, PAS’ only formidable rival thus far is Umno, said Fadhli.
Pakatan Harapan comprising PKR, Parti Amanah Negara, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and DAP, is not likely to make inroads into Kelantan, he said.
“multi-cornered fights against Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional would most likely favour us. Pribumi would split Umno votes, as most of its members are from Umno,” he said.
Fadhli said they would also try making inroads into Umno strongholds if there were any positive indications on the ground.
“Nothing is impossible. For example, Gua Musang (parliamentary seat) is one of Umno’s strongest fortress. But Umno lost the seat to Semangat 46 in the 1990 and 1995 elections,” he said.
The only constant factor in Gua Musang is its seven-term elected representative Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has not lost the seat since 1986.
When Razaleigh formed Semangat 46 after quitting Umno in the late 1980s, his supporters voted against Umno and delivered the seat to his party.
Parliament seats deemed safe for PAS are Kubang Kerian, Pengkalan Chepa and Kota Baru.
Gua Musang and Jeli are relatively safe parliament seats for Umno.
“We are comfortable in seven parliamentary constituencies,” said Fadhli.
PAS has greater influence in the northern part of Kelantan, while Umno stood a fairly good chance of conquering constituencies in the south.