KLANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Islamist party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will contest a by-election in the Seri Setia state seat in Selangor, with Umno saying it is making way for its former political enemy.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said on Friday (Aug 3) that the three-party coalition Barisan Nasional, which is led by Umno, will not be contesting the Seri Setia seat.
"I would like to announce that BN, or Umno, will give way for PAS to contest in Seri Setia," said Datuk Seri Mohamad.
"This is the starting point of the 'understanding' between PAS and Umno. God willing, we will expand it further," he told a news conference in Kota Raja, Selangor.
The by-election will be the third in Selangor since the May general election, following the deaths of their assemblymen in separate cases.
The decision on Seri Setia points to new political amity between PAS and Umno, which were bitter enemies in past decades.
Responding to the news, Selangor PAS election director Roslan Shahir said the principle adhered to by his party and BN was to ensure there would be no three-cornered fights in by-elections.
"We want them to be direct fights and our understanding will be like what it is in the Sungai Kandis by-election," Mr Roslan told The Star on Friday. PAS is not contesting in the ongoing Sungai Kandis polls.
The Seri Setia state seat fell vacant after incumbent assemblyman Shaharuddin Badaruddin died on Thursday (Aug 2) after a battle with cancer.
A by-election date has not been set yet by the Election Commission.
In another part of Selangor, voters will pick a new lawmaker for Sungai Kandis on Saturday (Aug 4). This followed the death of its assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei due to lymphoma on July 2.
Malaysia's ruling Pakatan Harapan alliance is defending the seat against an Umno national leader and an independent candidate.
A second Selangor by-election will be held for the state seat of Balakong on Sept 8, after its assemblyman Eddie Ng was killed in a road accident on July 20.