Selangor DAP has thrown its weight behind Parti Amanah Negara to contest in the Sungai Besar by-election. The party grassroots may end up voting for BN if the opposition was represented by PAS, they warned.
As such, Selangor DAP chief Tony Pua said Pakatan Harapan should field its candidate even if it means a three-cornered fight against PAS and BN.
"I visited the Sungai Besar parliamentary constituency and held dialogues with the grassroots of DAP branches in Sungai Besar and Sekinchan town last Sunday.
"The voice of the grassroots, which reflects the will of party supporters particularly in the urban areas, is clear – they will not and do not want to support PAS as the opposition's representative to take on BN.
"Some even said if they are forced to choose between BN and PAS, they may choose BN due to their disappointment in PAS.
"They see PAS as having betrayed their votes in the last general election (GE13) for causing the death of Pakatan Rakyat," he said in a statement today.
Furthermore, Pua said the grassroots also had no confidence that PAS, even if elected, would be vocal enough on several controversies plaguing the nation, including on 1MDB and the RM4.2 billion received by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his personal bank accounts.
"PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had even repeatedly stated that he has no intention of dislodging Najib.
"Instead, he wants Najib to be given the opportunity to continue leading the country as prime minister and PAS only wants to be an 'adviser' to Umno-BN," said Pua.
"Therefore, it is necessary for Harapan to be represented in the by-election so that the large number of Harapan supporters can choose a party that is truly against a rapacious and corrupt BN," he said.
Pua added that PKR's bid to convince PAS to withdraw from Sungai Besar and allow a compromise candidate from PKR to contest is also unlikely to materialise.
"Due to the PAS president's refusal to negotiate with PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, the proposal to put a PKR candidate in Sungai Besar to ensure a one-on-one contest will not happen.
"Therefore, Selangor DAP gives its 100 percent support to Amanah's candidate to represent Pakatan Harapan in a three-cornered contest in Sungai Besar," he said.
PAS views its splinter party Amanah as an enemy and is unwilling to compromise but PKR had lobbied PAS to stand down in Sungai Besar and in exchange, PKR will represent Pakatan Harapan instead of Amanah.
Furthermore, as part of the deal, Pakatan Harapan will also steer clear of the Kuala Kangsar by-election and give PAS free reign against BN.
However, PAS is insistent that both seats belong to them.
Pua acknowledged concerns that a three-cornered fight may split the opposition's collective votes but expressed confidence that opposition voters will make the right choice.
He added that Harapan is the most viable choice to eventually replace BN at the federal level while PAS, on its own, can never achieve this.