A former PAS lawmaker said today freedom for jailed PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim could determine the future of the federal opposition against the BN.
Tumpat MP Kamarudin Jaafar, who left PAS to join PKR, said this included Anwar's influence in being able to convince PAS on need for a united opposition come the 14th general election.
"It is also not just about the country's future.
"PAS must realise that its own future relies on forging cooperation with all other parties," Kamarudin (photo above) said when met at the Federal Court complex in Putrajaya.
He was among the lawmakers who came to show support for the hearing on the review of Anwar's Sodomy II conviction.
This rare Federal Court review will essentially determine if the five-member bench led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria had, on Feb 10, 2015, erred in its decision to maintain Anwar's conviction and five-year jail sentence.
If this new bench today determines that the earlier bench had erred, it can order Anwar to be released, thus allowing the PKR de facto leader to contest in the 14th general election, which is widely expected to be held next year.
Commenting further, Kamarudin said this was because Anwar's influence among supporters has remained, despite him being held behind bars.
"Not just in Selangor, Penang or Kelantan, but in all the seats won by the opposition," said Kamarudin, who added that Anwar was a contributing factor in many seats won by the opposition, which at that time comprised PAS, PKR and DAP.
'His freedome will raise our spirit'
Asked for comments on reported attempts by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to negotiate with PAS, Kamarudin said he welcomes any move towards forming a united opposition.
Separately, former PAS Kuala Krai MP Dr Hatta Ramli said Anwar has remained as the de facto opposition leader, even from behind bars.
"His freedom will raise our spirit to continue the fight against BN," said Hatta who is now with Amanah.
However, he declined to comment on any seat negotiations between Bersatu and PAS.
"No comment," Hatta said when asked about Muhyiddin's reported request to PAS that his new party be allowed to contest against Umno in Kelantan.
Muhyiddin made the request earlier this month, while delivering a ceramah on a PAS stage in Kemaman, Terengganu.
Since the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat and the formation of Pakatan Harapan, PAS has initiated the formation of a "third bloc" with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia and other NGOs.- Mkini