Dec 13 meeting will decide PAS’ place with opposition

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KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will meet next Tuesday, with political observers suggesting that a decision will be made on PKR and PPBM’s ties with PAS.

Any decision made will also indicate the influence of PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who last weekend had said that the Islamist party will be given a deadline to decide if it will join a formal alliance with the other opposition parties.

Observers say Mahathir, who has openly expressed his support for PPBM to join the PH pact, may end up cutting all ties with PAS.

This is despite PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin’s hope that PAS will support the opposition’s goal of a one-to-one battle against Barisan Nasional (BN), which many believe will increase the opposition’s chances of winning the next general election (GE14).

The political observers FMT spoke to also believe that if Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has any influence over her party members, PKR may also break its political cooperation with PAS.

PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had yesterday stated his party’s refusal to work with Parti Amanah Negara and DAP, both of which now make up PH with PKR.

Political analyst Mohd Sayuti Omar said PAS’ relationship with PPBM and PKR would end officially once PPBM joined PH, something that was expected to happen after the Dec 13 meeting.

PAS, on the other hand, will work with Umno, Sayuti said.

“After that (the Dec 13 meeting), I am 100% confident PAS will be with Umno and will cut all ties with PPBM and PKR,” he said when contacted by FMT.

“This is because the duo will be working officially with DAP and Amanah.

“I also expect a split within PAS, and some of the party leaders including (PAS vice-president) Iskandar Samad, will no longer be active (in the party).”

PPBM supreme council member Zahid Mat Arip, on the other hand, has high hopes that any decision made in the meeting will be in the interest of the public.

“I hope all leaders present in the meeting will come with a level head, and an open heart,” said Zahid, who is the grandson of former deputy prime minister Ghafar Baba.

“I hope they will take into account the people’s wish for a clean, strong and stable government, the way it was during Mahathir’s time,” added the man who once led a group opposing former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Zahid is one of several PPBM leaders who are unhappy with the recent action of PAS leaders, including the Islamic party’s spiritual adviser, Hashim Jasin.

“I want Hashim to explain if PAS can lead and be dominant in its cooperation with Umno.”

He was responding to Hashim’s statement that PAS needed to be able to lead in any form of cooperation.

Zahid also criticised PAS secretary-general Takiyudin Hassan who had firmly stated his refusal to work with PPBM if the latter continued its alliance with DAP and Amanah.

“I want Takiyudin to look in the mirror and see who is now working with the two parties in the administration of Selangor.”

He also reminded Takiyudin of how DAP members had waved PAS flags and campaigned for the party in the last general election.

Hence, PAS did not need to be too hard on DAP, he added.