PETALING JAYA: Elder politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has suggested that Umno and PAS repeat their political cooperation, last seen in the 1970s, when facing the 14th general election (GE14).
The Gua Musang MP and former Umno minister said based on their leaders’ speeches and comments, the two parties seemed inclined to cooperate on religious matters.
“PAS has supported some government policies (of Umno’s). So, what’s wrong with establishing cooperation in the political arena such as in the general gelection if it does not bring any loss to the two parties?” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian today.
Tengku Razaleigh, who is popularly known as Ku Li, said the only problem was whether such cooperation would be acceptable to the party’s grassroots.
“That also depends on the allocation of seats and candidates. This needs to be evaluated at the leadership level,” he said, adding that there was some apprehension among those in the Gua Musang Umno division about such ties.
He said despite this, there was nothing wrong with cooperating with other parties if Umno would benefit by it.
In 1989, Tengku Razaleigh co-founded the now defunct Semangat 46 which was formed as a splinter of Umno. The party cooperated politically with PAS against Barisan Nasional (BN), a move that saw them winning Kelantan in the general election of 1990.
The PPBM leadership however had earlier expressed confidence that PAS would not collaborate with Umno in facing Pakatan Harapan (PH) in GE14.
In his blog entry yesterday, PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad referred to certain non-PH parties that could potentially cause a split in opposition votes in the event of three or four-cornered fights in GE14.
Although he did not name any party, it is understood that the former prime minister was referring mainly to PAS.
He said opposition parties had a big chance of winning the general election but only if they cooperated to ensure the fight was between them and the BN.
However, with multi-cornered fights taking place, supporters of prime minister and Umno president Najib Razak will unite and vote for BN, leading to victory for the ruling coalition because of the split in opposition votes.
“In other words, the other parties that are splitting the opposition votes with three or four-cornered fights are actually supporting BN and Najib,” he said.
Mahathir described the action of these parties as betraying efforts to bring down Najib and halt the damage inflicted on the country.
On March 25, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said his party could not participate politically with either BN or PH due to conflicting policies and ideologies.
He likened working with the BN to carrying on his shoulder a live monitor lizard (biawak) and likened PH to a bigger monitor lizard with more disease.