‘Malay-centric nation’ in the making, analysts say ahead of historic Umno-PAS pact

Top Umno and PAS leaders will announce their political alliance formally on Sept 14.

PETALING JAYA: Political analysts have warned of what they say is the making of a “Malay-centric nation” against the national spirit, ahead of a historic charter to be signed by the country’s two largest Malay-based political parties.

Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said the formal announcement of an alliance between once-sworn enemies PAS and Umno on Sept 14 may be welcome in the Malay heartlands, but not Sabah and Sarawak.

Azizuddin also said non-Malays and urban Malays would be reluctant to support the kind of politics promoted by the two parties.

“To be successful, Umno needs more parties to join the pact, including non-Malay parties. They need to explain what will happen to Barisan Nasional, who will be the next prime minister and which states will be given to PAS to contest in the next general election,” Azizuddin of Universiti Sains Malaysia, told FMT.

Some 10,000 supporters of Umno and PAS will gather this Friday, as top leaders from both parties announce their cooperation, three years after PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and then Umno president Najib Razak shared the same stage.

Umno’s BN partners MCA and MIC have distanced themselves from the event, stating it was merely cooperation between Umno and PAS.

Political analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff agreed that the pact would cause the nation to tilt towards Malay-centric politics, but said Umno might soften the situation as it would want non-Malay allies to remain with it in order to win elections.

He said Sabah and Sarawak would join forces with whichever political parties were likely to win in the general election.

“They will see how this new pact will fare. They are keeping a watchful eye on the pact,” he said.

PPBM supreme council member Tariq Aziz said the pact showed Malays were veering towards race, religion and royalty (3R).

But he said it was an opportunity for PPBM to sit back and listen to the rhetoric while the government formulates solutions to problems faced by Malays.

He said Putrajaya’s economic roadmap to bring poor Malays out of their economic hardship should be able to overcome the Umno-PAS rhetoric.

“We should not react to everything that Umno and PAS come up with. We have to understand the Malays are in a siege mode and overly sensitive and the 3R’s have become conveniently unavoidable,” he said.