PARTI Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) is showing that it will not take a back seat in the coalition of (in)convenience known as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in Sarawak.
Way back in September, when PR started its seat negotiations officially, PAS wasn’t even part of the discussions!
In fact, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) both seemed to think it was a forgone conclusion that PAS would be happy with the scraps of a couple of seats in Muslim/Malay areas.
Neither DAP Sarawak chairman Wong Ho Leng or PKR state chief Baru Bian seemed the least bit concerned that PR negotiations did not include a PR partner — PAS.
All PKR and DAP really wanted was what they saw as their share of seats.
Now PAS has announced to the world that it wants eight seats in Sarawak! Yes four times more than what its so-called partners even considered giving to the party.
And we’re not just talking Muslim/Malay areas either. PAS is trying to paint itself as a party for all Malaysians, even though of course it is only interested in Muslim-Malay issues.
The party wants to stand in Sibuti, Igan, Tanjung Manis, Kota Samarahan, Batang Sadong, Batang Lupar, Kanowit and Limbang.
To try to convince Sarawakians that the party is open to all, PAS wants to field Iban candidates in Sibuti and either Tanjung Manis or Igan.
Guess the party is trying to forget that its president called Sarawakians cawat-wearing ignoramuses!!!
Yes, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, we will not easily forget that you uttered the condescendingly racist words: “Mereka ini tidak reti undi, pakai cawat lagi,” in response to PR’s loss in the Batang Ai by-election.
Perhaps PAS really does believe Sarawakians are stupid and gullible and would not remember how the party insulted our knowledge, intelligence, judgement and worse our culture and traditions!
What PAS is also showing is its willingness to do anything for power, even resorting to fielding candidates who do not fit the mould of its mission — to have an Islamic State, preach or proselytise Islam to all (yes, PAS wants to convert all non-Muslims), and use the religion at all levels of society including governance and administration, economics, as well as learning and education.
Anyway, because of this greed for power, PAS isn’t about to let PKR and DAP take all the parliamentary seats in Sarawak for themselves.
As we all know, the road to Putrajaya goes through Sarawak and Sabah.
So while PKR and DAP wrangle over the State’s parliamentary seats, PAS has made it clear that it wants eight of the 31 constituencies in Sarawak.
That leaves DAP and PKR with 23 seats between them. Considering that DAP has announced that it wants 14 seats, since it sees itself as the top dog of the opposition coalition in the State, that would leave PKR with just nine seats.
Nine. Far less than the original 15 seats the party wanted initially and one less than the 10 PKR recently said it would contest in.
Guess PKR has had to concede that it is the weak link in PR. Concede that the DAP will always get what it wants as the ‘superior’ opposition party. Even concede to PAS, the party that insulted all Sarawakians, particularly the Dayak community — even PKR’s own members in the State.
A report from Borneo Post:
PAS eyes 8 parliamentary seats in 13th GE
By Mohamad Abdullah
MIRI: Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) is eyeing eight seats in Sarawak during the upcoming parliamentary election, two of which will be contested by Iban candidates.
The seats are Sibuti, Igan, Tanjung Manis, Kota Samarahan, Batang Sadong, Batang Lupar, Kanowit and Limbang.
PAS Sarawak information chief Mohd Azwani Abdul Rani confirmed that the Iban candidates would stand in Sibuti and either Tanjung Manis or Igan.
The Iban candidate for Sibuti is believed to be Bobby Zaid Tadang from Miri.
“We are very confident of winning a few seats, as the last state election showed PAS has increased its support from the people in Sarawak,” he told a press conference yesterday.
He said the fielding of two Iban professionals would clear the air over the ‘cawat’ issue.
The issue was sparked in 2009, when PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said Sarawakians were ignorant because they still wore cawat (loincloths).
In response to the opposition’s loss in the Batang Ai by-election, Hadi had said: “Mereka ini tidak reti undi, pakai cawat lagi” (They don’t understand how to vote as they still wear cawat).
This angered many Sarawakians, particularly Dayak leaders.
On fielding eight candidates, Azwani said this was to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) does not win any seat uncontested.
“There will be no free ride and we’ll make sure there’s no walkover by BN to win the seats uncontested as PAS is there to contest,” he said.
He stressed that PAS would contest in all eight seats, while the other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties — Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) — could divide the remaining 23 seats between them.
PAS would also work with the yet to be registered Sarawak Workers Party and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to woo voters, he said.
Azwani added that PAS would address minor issues to win the hearts of the people and join wedding parties and other community events in villages and longhouses.
During the last state election, PAS fielded 12 candidates but failed to win any seat and some candidates also lost their deposits.
Meanwhile, PAS will hold a Ramah Tamah Masyarakat at Dewan Serbaguna Taman Tunku tomorrow at 8pm and a PR dialogue at Gymkhana Club Miri at 8pm on Friday.