PAS and unity govt in talks


NIBONG TEBAL: Whether PAS will join the unity government remains unknown, but discussions are being held between both sides, says unity government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and several leaders from the Islamist party have held numerous discussions, indicating negotiations and considerations about PAS joining the unity government.

The Communications Minister, however, did not confirm or deny talk about the matter, nor did he offer details on which direction the discussions have taken.

He said there are a lot of discussions between mentris besar from PAS-led states as well as MPs and the Prime Minister.

Fahmi was speaking to reporters after the nomination process at the Jawi Multipurpose Hall yesterday for the Sungai Bakap by-election.

Claims of cooperation between PAS and the unity government have been floating around since last year, but in October, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang rejected this possibility.

However, shortly after the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election in May, such talk resurfaced and PAS leaders have not spoken out against cooperation.

Some political analysts observed “issues” arising between PAS and Bersatu after several Bersatu elected representatives declared their support for the unity government.

Other commentators saw a lack of participation by PAS during the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election.Earlier, Fahmi accompanied Pakatan Harapan candidate Dr Joohari Ariffin and ruling coalition leaders at the nomination centre.

The Sungai Bakap by-election will see a straight fight between Joohari and Perikatan Nasional candidate Abidin Ismail.

Of the 39,279 people eligible to vote in the by-election, 39,222 are ordinary voters and 57 are police personnel.

The Election Commission set July 2 as the early voting date, while July 6 is polling day. It is being held following the death of Nor Zamri Latiff on May 24.

In the Penang state elections last August, Nor Zamri, who was Nibong Tebal PAS chief, defeated Pakatan candidate Nurhidayah Che Rose with a majority of 1,563 votes.

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