KUALA LUMPUR – Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) said on Thursday that it will not dissolve the three state assemblies under its rule for Malaysias general election.

The PAS central working committee… has decided to maintain its stand not to dissolve the state assemblies of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, the Islamist partys president Abdul Hadi Awang said in a statement.

We have also decided that we will strengthen cooperation in Perikatan Nasional (PN) to face the 15th general election, on the principle of uniting the ummah (Muslims).

The statement did not specifically mention the status of the partys relationship with the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN). Both PN and BN were part of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakobs administration.

PAS had said before that it wanted to work with the two blocs. It had also mentioned that it will not dissolve the three state assemblies under its rule until March 2023, in order to focus on preparations for the floods during the monsoon season from around mid-November to March.

Meanwhile, opposition leader and Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim did not dismiss the possibility of working with former premiers Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin for the election.

We are now committed to the Harapan agenda against corruption, against abuse of power. Whoever agrees, they can come and talk to us, Datuk Seri Anwar was quoted as saying on Thursday by the Malaysiakininews website.

Dr Mahathir led the PH government after its historic electoral win over BN in 2018. However, he was toppled by Tan Sri Muhyiddin in 2020 after the latter withdrew his Bersatu party from the ruling coalition and formed a new government with Umno.

On Monday, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri announced the dissolution of Parliament, paving the way for the general election to be held this year, with polling day expected in early November.

While Parliament is led by the prime minister who governs Malaysia, the countrys 13 states are led by Menteris Besar, or chief ministers.

During polling day, Malaysians are usually given two ballot papers – one to vote for their MP and another to pick their state assemblyman.

In the past, both the federal and state assembly polls were held concurrently, except in Sarawak. This time, several Malaysian states are deciding whether to dissolve their state legislatures or to wait until 2023, when elections must be held.

Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, two of the three statescontrolled by PH, will not be dissolving their legislatures. The third state, Penang, might also hold off on dissolution.

The PH presidential council could not reach a consensus on the matter in its meeting on Wednesday.

Democratic Action Party chairman Lim Guan Eng said state elections should be held concurrently with the parliamentary election.

Penang people generally do not want to hold state and federal elections separately as this would cost more resources and time, he said.

Another concern is that Umno and PAS might join forces after the general election and pose a greater threat to PH, he added.

Four states that have held their local elections in the last two years – Sabah, Sarawak, Johor and Melaka – will not need to be dissolved.

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