KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition party Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) officially severed relations with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on Thursday (May 11).
In a statement issued by the secretary of the Ulama Syura Council, Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, PAS said the decision was made after the PKR broke the terms of its cooperation with PAS.
These include PKR's opposition to PAS' stand on RUU 355 or the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, as well as making false accusations against the Islamist party.
The move ends an almost decade-long alliance, possibly destabilising the Selangor state government, the crown jewel of the opposition coalition.
Votes for the opposition now appear split, said Ibrahim Suffian from independent pollster Merdeka Centre. "It will make multi-cornered contests a certainty in the General Election. Barisan Nasional has been handed a clear advantage with no clear gain for PAS."
When asked about the possibility of PAS quitting the state government, political analyst Adib Zalkapli of Vriens and Partners said there would be a "heavy price to pay".
"PAS will have to quit exco and local council positions to severe ties with PKR," he said, adding that Islamists are taught to choose the least destructive option in politics. "In this case, losing their seats in the Selangor government and their influence in how their state should be run would be damaging to the Islamist cause."