GOMBAK: Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin is not surprised at the upcoming pact between Umno and PAS, saying both sides know that identity politics is the winning formula as proven in several by-elections since the May 9 polls last year.
The former Umno Youth chief also praised PKR president Anwar Ibrahim for having the courage to set up a multiracial party, saying this was unlike Dr Mahathir Mohamad who preferred to set up a race-based party.
“Anwar, at least, had the courage to set up a multiracial party,” Khairy told a forum to discuss the 2018 general election and its impact on the next polls.
He said Anwar could have easily set up a Malay-based party but did not.
He added however that by forming a multiracial party, Anwar had lost much Malay support.
He said if Anwar took over the prime-ministership, it would strengthen the relationship between the races but “we would see Umno and PAS attacking him on that”.
Khairy said Umno and PAS had tasted the advantage of working closely, adding that their cooperation would accelerate identity politics, something he said he opposes.
“I am cast out (by many Umno members) because I don’t agree with identity politics,” he said, acknowledging however that it appeared to be a winning formula.
“When you are in Umno and PAS and you know that it is your winning formula, you will stick to it,” he said, referring to three by-elections held after the May 9 polls which saw Umno candidates winning with support from PAS.
Umno candidates representing Barisan Nasional won in the Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Rantau by-elections, while Pakatan Harapan won in Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia, Balakong and Port Dickson.
Khairy said the three victories had further cemented Umno-PAS ties, and indicated the “flavour of what is to come”.