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Umno’s marriage of convenience with PAS won’t last, predicts Zam

 | May 16, 2017

Saying the relationship will unravel after GE14, former Umno minister Zainuddin Maidin warns the tie-up will harm ties with traditional BN component parties.

zainuddin-maidin-2PETALING JAYA: Umno was once a liberal Malay party that other races viewed as “friendly” and this is why it has managed to survive for so long, according to former Umno minister Zainuddin Maidin.

But after being rejected by the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, Umno appears to have decided to seek refuge with the country’s largest population, who are the Malays, added Zainuddin.

This was why the ruling party had moved to form an alliance with PAS to ensure the Malay votes would go to them, hence promising them at least another term in power, he said.

“But this is a wrong move as it will push the non-Malays further away from Umno.

“Because when it joins forces with PAS, the non-Malays will see it as a racial coalition,” he told FMT.

Zainuddin also said the “marriage of convenience” between the two strongest Muslim parties would work for a short while as PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had been going around claiming it was the only way for PAS to achieve its goal of making Malaysia an Islamic country.

But this confidence would be put to the test after the 14th general election, when reality would set in for both parties, especially for PAS, he said.

“Umno doesn’t hold on to the dogmatic concept of Islam. PAS and its supporters, on the other hand, do, and they are fanatics. This is not something that can be easily changed.

“Their marriage is still new and like every new marriage, of course they can only see the good in it. They are still able to tolerate each other’s differences and come to a compromise.

“But it was never actually meant to be a partnership for the good of the country or the people. After the elections, this facade will start to crumble.”

Ideological differences between the two parties would be the cause of this, he added.

Zainuddin said Umno might be working with PAS for now, but Umno also formed the government with other BN components, such as the MIC, MCA, and Gerakan as well as Sarawakian parties.

He said these long-term allies of Umno would never agree to PAS’ Islamic nation goal.

This was evident in their opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act355) to enhance the powers of shariah courts, he added.

“Act 355 will not be passed. Just like how PAS had tried to ban alcohol from being sold in Selangor, or to separate men and women in the state’s cinemas.

“This is because the different races in Malaysia are used to living with one another. We are used to being considerate of each other’s lifestyles and wants.

“So, PAS won’t be able to realise its goals through a partnership with Umno and that’s why I say this is just a marriage of convenience, not only for Umno but also for PAS.”

He added that both parties were only putting up appearances to retain their power, at least until after the general election.

Zainuddin’s comments came following Umno president Najib Razak’s speech at the party’s 71st anniversary bash last week, where he openly displayed a growing affection for PAS.

Najib had, in his speech, cited excerpts of a statement he said was made by Hadi to show how the two had and would work together on issues concerning public interest.

“Hadi also said in politics we can have differences in opinion, but on issues involving the people and the country, we have to unite and work together,” said Najib.


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