'Bersatu needs to be realistic in contesting vacated seats' - Analyst

Pas's readiness to contest reflects disappointment with Bersatu

Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
06 Mar 2024 09:55am
Bersatu advised to be realistic in contesting vacated seats. - FILE PIX
Bersatu advised to be realistic in contesting vacated seats. - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) needs to be pragmatic and should avoid being overly ambitious in contesting all six constituencies currently held by its MPs who support Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, should those seats be declared vacant in the future.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) Literacy and Political Advocacy Unit Research Fellow Associate Professor Dr Mohd Yusri Ibrahim pointed out that although Bersatu has amended its constitution to dismiss any representatives not aligned with the party or who switch support, the matter is still pending finalisation.

The amendment to Article 10 of the United Constitution carries legal implications, including lacking approval from the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

"If by-elections are indeed called for the six parliamentary seats in question, it would not be unreasonable for Pas to seek Bersatu's cooperation to contest in the Jeli and Gua Musang seats.

"It is well known that Bersatu's strength is very minimal on the East Coast, especially Kelantan and Terengganu.

"In fact, all the seats won by Bersatu in the East Coast, including Jeli and Gua Musang, were almost entirely contributed by the strength of the machinery, grassroots and Pas supporters," Yusri told Sinar yesterday.

He commented on a report by Sinar that indicated the possibility of the six seats held by Bersatu MPs not necessarily being vacated, but political parties preparing to field candidates if a by-election is called.

The six seats in question are Bukit Gantang and Kuala Kangsar in Perak; Jeli and Gua Musang in Kelantan; Tanjong Karang in Selangor, and Labuan.

Related Articles:

Pas Vice President Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah also hinted that the party is ready to contest the by-election in Jeli and Gua Musang if the seats are vacated following the constitutional amendment carried out by Bersatu.

To this, Yusri supported the notion that Pas might negotiate with Bersatu to reclaim the Jeli and Gua Musang seats, which Pas traditionally held before their collaboration with Bersatu in the 15th General Election (GE15).

He stressed that Pas's historical support in these areas could be significant.

"If Bersatu once again competes in the two seats, it will somewhat weaken the spirit of the machinery, grassroots and Pas supporters.

"Of course, they are worried that bananas will bear fruit twice," he added.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Razak Perdana Centre Lecturer Associate Professor Dr Mazlan Ali is of the view that Bersatu is basically entitled to re-contest in the six parliamentary constituencies because they won all the seats involved in the last GE15.

However, he stressed that the decision ultimately lies with the top leadership of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, not unilaterally by any party.

"Amar's action stating that Pas is ready to compete in the two seats does not represent the voice of the party, rather it reflects the disappointment of Pas leaders and members over Bersatu's failure to control the loyalty of their elected representatives who have defected to support the Prime Minister," he said.

Mazlan noted that Pas's eagerness to contest in Jeli and Gua Musang may stem from their disappointment with Bersatu's inability to maintain the loyalty of its representatives who defected to support the Prime Minister.

He suggested that Pas's strong track record in loyalty might influence the decision to allow them to contest in these seats.

Regardless of which party contests in these constituencies, Mazlan stressed the importance of managing the situation well to avoid conflicts that could impact PN's chances of retaining these seats.