Umno-PAS alliance not a problem, says MIC

Umno and PAS leaders after a meeting last night to formalise ties between the two parties. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: MIC, the Indian component of Barisan Nasional (BN), sees nothing wrong with PAS cooperating with the coalition’s lynchpin party Umno as long as it is beneficial.

Its president SA Vigneswaran said such cooperation was nothing new, adding that DAP and PKR too are allies to Malay and Muslim parties such PPBM and Amanah.

“There is nothing to be alarmed about if MIC works with PAS and Umno,” he told FMT in the wake of Umno’s announcement that it was formalising an electoral understanding with the Islamist party

His comments come two days after MIC and MCA threatened to quit BN after expressing unhappiness over what they said were “racial” remarks by the coalition’s secretary-general Nazri Aziz.

Nazri had reportedly raised the issue of non-Muslims holding top posts such as the attorney-general and chief justice.

Vigneswaran and his MCA counterpart Wee Ka Siong said they no longer believed BN was committed to multiracialism, adding that a high-level meeting should be called to allow them to explore a “new alliance”.

Vigneswaran

Yesterday, top leaders of Umno and PAS said both parties were “getting married” and pledged to work together as a united opposition bloc in the Dewan Rakyat.

Vigneswaran said MIC would remain in BN as long as it benefitted from an Umno-PAS alliance.

But MCA appeared less convinced, with Wee declining to comment on the latest development.

Meanwhile, PPBM strategist Rais Hussin played down the impact of the Umno-PAS alliance, saying the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition should keep its focus on fulfilling its election promises.

“The economy is more important than anything else,” he told FMT.

He also welcomed Umno acting president Mohamad Hasan’s pledge to side with Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the event of the much rumoured no-confidence vote taking place in Parliament.