KOTA KINABALU: PAS is planning to contest a number of seats in Sabah in the coming 15th General Election (GE15).
Its secretary for Sabah Dr Aliakbar Gulasan, who was also a nominated assemblyman, said they had earmarked several parliamentary seats they felt they had a chance of winning, although he declined to specify which ones.
He also disclosed that he would be one of the party’s candidates who would be contesting.
"We will be straightforward, we hope to place candidates in GE15," he said when met by reporters while visiting SMK Bandaraya in conjunction with Teachers’ Day near here on Wednesday (May 18).
"There are seats that we are confident we can win and we have already started working with the local communities (in those areas).
"We are targeting to contest in GE15 although we won’t mention which seats for now."
Aliakbar, however, did not deny when asked by reporters that among the seats PAS and he himself were looking at was Sepanggar, which was currently held by Parti Warisan.
This was because Aliakbar had been actively moving in the constituency.
"Maybe (we will contest Sepanggar). If the media is speculating as such, then I would 'yes' (contesting the seat)," he said.
He added that they had basically identified their candidates although there was still a final round of discussions.
"I can say we are at the final stages of finalising our candidates who will comprise professionals and young people.
"We are also looking at placing non-Muslim candidates or at least one (non-Muslim) candidate. But we are still talking about it internally," Aliakbar said.
It was unclear how PAS’ intentions to contest GE15 would go down with their allies in the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) ruling coalition.
But Aliakbar said they valued the relationship with GRS and would hold talks with the coalition first before making any decisions.
“As from before, PAS will always prioritise discussions (over seats) with any of our political friends. We won’t decide on our own," he said.
PAS sat out the state election in September 2020 but was still given a nominated assemblyman seat, thanks to its affiliation with Perikatan Nasional and the victorious GRS coalition.
This was the first time PAS obtained a place in the state assembly as the party never won any seat it contested in previous state and general elections in Sabah.
Despite being part of the GRS ruling government, PAS was however left out from being an official member of the coalition which only comprises Sabah Star, the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and the Sabah chapter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
However, PAS is with Perikatan Nasional which also consists of Bersatu, Gerakan, Sabah Star and SAPP.