KUALA LUMPUR: Umno and PAS today signed a historic charter of political cooperation, marking the coming together of the two largest Malay-Muslim parties after decades of conflict.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his PAS counterpart Abdul Hadi Awang inked their signatures on a historic charter, as thousands of members from both parties watched at the Putra World Trade Centre.
Shouts of the takbir (“God is Great”) reverbated through the hall as both leaders signed a document calling for political cooperation, in what is seen by observers as posing the greatest challenged to the year-old Pakatan Harapan government which came to power on the back of a promise of reforms and multicultural engagement.
The national unity charter – Piagam Muafakat Nasional – seeks to uphold the interest of the Malays, Islam as the official religion, and Malay as the national language.
It vows to restore the confidence of the people in the “leadership of Islam, the Malays and the Bumiputeras”.
“The cooperation between the two parties is based on four principles, including an agreement not to compete with each other, working towards the goals of the country,” the charter says.
Umno and PAS will involve themselves in the activities of the Barisan Nasional and Gagasan Sejahtera.
The Umno Supreme Council and PAS Central Committee will be the highest bodies to decide on the policies and forms of cooperation of the alliance.