Home  >  Opinion

Hidden concerns from Umno-PAS cooperation

  • PH must continue to uphold a more liberal and accommodating policy instead of competing with Umno-PAS on a racial/religious platform so that the country will not be plunged into vicious inter-community conflicts at the expense of national unity.

Sin Chew Daily

The cooperation and interactions between Umno and PAS have always been a much watched political issue in the country.

And now, these two parties have issued a joint statement to announce their official tie-up on September 14.

The Umno-PAS tie-up will become a powerful Malay opposition force that will exert a tremendous level of pressure on the ruling PH coalition.

There have been unusual interactions between Umno and PAS even during Najib's time, and this was particularly obvious in the RUU355 issue.

With Umno now reduced to an opposition party, the two parties are expected to step up their cooperation in the days to come.

Umno was unable to openly forge a cooperation relationship with PAS during BN's time for fear this would infuriate the other BN component parties.

Now that Umno is no more a ruling party and the BN coalition is almost dead, Umno will have nothing to fear again.

Umno realizes that it needs to work with PAS in order to pool together their resources to win more Malay votes and recapture Putrajaya.

In the meantime, PAS is well aware that the party alone is not strong enough to gain access to Putrajaya.

Both parties need each other to win the next general elections. This naturally brings them much closer together.

Both Umno and PAS have been at loggerheads for decades. To make a dramatic shift to embrace each other inevitably triggers powerful backlash from within the two parties.

However, leaders at both parties have been doing this gradually for their grassroots members to slowly open up themselves to their former rivals.

The Umno-PAS marriage will constitute a powerful force in the Malay community, which is where the PH coalition is relatively weak in.

The Malay votes were divided into three roughly equal segments in GE14, with BN winning between 35% and 40% of votes, followed by PAS 30-33% and PH 25-30%.

Politics is not mathematics, and in politics one plus one may not necessarily be equal to two. However, looking at the election numbers, an Umno-PAS tie-up is estimated to win at least half of all Malay votes, and this is bound to impact the ruling coalition heavily.

As a matter of fact, judging from the cooperation between Umno and PAS in recent by-elections whereby they won three, their combined force must never be downplayed.

Umno's cooperation with PAS will nevertheless have a negative impact on the other BN component parties. The Chinese community, in particular, has been strongly resistant to PAS, making it much harder now for MCA to win the support of Chinese voters.

No doubt a tie-up between Umno and PAS is an excellent strategy to fight PH. However, it will also arouse hidden concerns within the multicultural Malaysian society.

The two parties are adopting a racist and religious approach, and inter-community conflicts will intensify, creating more accentuated confrontation in our multicultural society.

It is of tremendous importance how PH is going to respond to the Umno-PAS alliance.

PH must continue to uphold a more liberal and accommodating policy instead of competing with Umno-PAS on a racial/religious platform so that the country will not be plunged into vicious inter-community conflicts at the expense of national unity.

 

广告
Copyright © 2019 Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad (98702-V).
All rights reserved. Contact us : [email protected]