KOTA BAHARU, May 25 – PAS today claimed that the intention of other opposition parties to contest the upcoming Sungai Besar parliamentary by-election was merely to defeat the party and not the Barisan Nasional. PAS vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said it only went to show that the other opposition parties were not serious about capturing the seat from the BN. He spoke to reporters after attending the weekly meeting of the Kelantan state executive council at the Kota Darul Naim Complex here.
PAS election director Datuk Mustafa Ali had announced that the party would field its candidate for the parliamentary by-elections in Sungai Besar, Selangor, and Kuala Kangsar, Perak, as it had traditionally contested the two seats. He had said the decision was final, but PKR is said to be trying to coax PAS to allow a candidate from the Pakatan Harapan coalition that groups DAP, PKR and Amanah to contest the BN in straight fights in the two by-elections.
Amanah had openly stated its readiness to have its candidates represent the coalition in the two by-elections and had named its president Mohamad Sabu as a potential candidate for the Sungai Besar by-election. Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub and former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin are said to have been listed as candidates for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, respectively.
The by-elections are being held following the deaths of Sungai Besar MP and Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Noriah Kasnon and Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-il Anuar Wan Ahmad in a helicopter crash in Sarawak on May 5 that also took the lives of four others. Nominations for the by-elections are set for June 5 and polling, on June 18.