PAS vies to be kingmaker in polls

MUAR (Johor) • The Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) is vying to become the kingmaker in the upcoming Malaysian elections and form the next ruling government after the polls, its syura (consultative) council chief Mahfodz Mohamed said.

"If we secure 40 parliamentary seats, we can be the kingmaker as Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not have enough seats to form the government. They will then have to negotiate with us," said Datuk Mahfodz in a political rally in Melaka on Friday.

The Islamist party has said that it will contest 130 of the 222 federal Parliament seats in the general election that is expected to be called within weeks.

Such a move would cause multiple three-cornered fights, badly splitting votes for the opposition PH alliance as it does battle with the ruling BN coalition's parties for control of Parliament.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in January said it aims to win at least 40 seats so that it can emerge the kingmaker in the event that no single party is able to win the 112 seats needed for a simple majority.

PAS currently holds 13 parliamentary seats.

Dr Mahfodz said its goal of winning 40 parliamentary seats was not too far-fetched as the party will field a record number of candidates in the general election.

PAS had its best electoral performance in 1999 when it won 27 parliamentary seats at the height of the Reformasi movement to protest against the sacking and arrest of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 1998.

As kingmaker, Dr Mahfodz said PAS would be in the position to impose conditions on either BN or PH. "We do not want the post of prime minister, power or position, but to be the kingmaker," he said.

"The condition is that they (either BN or PH) uphold Islam and form an Islamic government," he added.

PAS previously contested under the opposition's Pakatan Rakyat alliance, a predecessor of the PH pact, but severed ties with the alliance over a lack of support for its push for hudud law (Islamic criminal code) in Kelantan.

It has since formed a bloc of opposition parties called the Gagasan Sejahtera, or the Movement of Harmony, with two smaller parties.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 01, 2018, with the headline 'PAS vies to be kingmaker in polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe