PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has questioned the wisdom behind PAS’s declaration that it will fight DAP in the coming general election.
“It simply doesn’t make any sense” because the two parties appeal to different demographics, said Faisal S Hazis of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
He was commenting on an article in Harakahdaily, which quoted Hashim Jasin, PAS’s newly-appointed spiritual guide, as saying that the party was determined to go head-to-head against DAP.
“It is weird that PAS sees DAP as its rival,” he told FMT. “It needs to realise that its main rival is Umno.
“In 1990 and 1999, PAS managed to win significant numbers of seats simply because Umno had weakened. Since then, it has always contested in Malay majority seats, where Umno contests.”
He said the opposition should now be hoping that the general election would not be called any time soon so that PAS would have time to “come to its senses”.
Another analyst, Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya, saw Hashim’s statement as evidence that PAS was hoping to gain Umno’s support in the hope that the ruling party would back PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill, which seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act of 1965.
“The statement was issued in hopes of gaining Umno’s trust,” he said. “PAS is giving a sign that it is distancing itself from DAP.
“However, nothing is certain. The relationship between Umno and PAS is still unknown. PAS’s strategy could be that it will support Pakatan Harapan at the parliamentary level, but focus entirely on itself at the state assembly level.”
This is not the first time that Hashim has spoken harshly against DAP. Early this month, he said the party would never cooperate with DAP again and was willing to face three-cornered fights in the 14th general election.
He said PAS’s cooperation with DAP in GE13 was based on a conditional political approach while its cooperation with Umno was on the basis of Islamic unity.
However, parliamentary opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail believes that many PAS members still support the opposition alliance even though PAS leaders do not want to work with DAP.
She said the opposition parties had learnt their lesson from the Sarawak state election last May, where multi-cornered contests took place between Barisan Nasional, Pakatan parties and PAS.
“We know that if we are not together we’ll lose the base and miss the boat,” she said.