PAS win in Kemaman won’t hurt unity government now but could spell pain in GE16, says Umno’s Isham Jalil

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — The PAS victory in last weekend’s Kemaman by-election has no significance to the federal government now despite the margin of its victory, said former Umno information chief Isham Jalil.

He also said PAS and Perikatan Nasional (PN) must wait until the 16th general election, which is only due in 2027, before this will change.

“With that, Terengganu menteri besar and newly minted Kemaman MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar can only have a chance at becoming the country’s 11th prime minister in four years’ time,” he said in a Facebook post.

He said this was so because PN did not have the political support to force a premature change in government as occurred in previous years.

Isham further said PN would have no chance of doing so without Umno’s support, even though the Malay nationalist party only has 26 federal seats now.

“All this will depend on what PAS will do after this. As an Umno member, my hope is that whatever happens after this will benefit the party and the Malay-Muslim struggle in this country,” he said.

However, the former Umno election strategist went on to say that the Kemaman by-election showed that PAS was poised to become the dominant Malay political party in the country.

He said that within a year, PAS and PN managed to increase its Malay support in Terengganu and Kemaman from 58 per cent in the 14th general election to 70 per cent last year.

“Previously, I have said that if this situation continues, then it is very likely that PAS or PN will seize all 26 seats belonging to Umno and three BN seats in peninsular Malaysia.

“PAS will increase their seats from the current 43 to 72 in GE16. PAS will then be the largest political party in Malaysia and this will allow Ahmad Samsuri to become the next prime minister in four years’ time,” said Isham.

On Saturday, the Islamist party retained control of the Kemaman seat after Ahmad Samsuri won with a majority of 37,220 votes.

Yesterday, Ahmad Samsuri reportedly said his victory in the by-election was as a signal of Terengganu voters’ rejection of his party’s rivals.