Umno-PAS alliance for benefit of Najib, Zahid and their supporters, veteran newsman says

A Kadir Jasin says PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang played ‘third fiddle’ to Najib Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

PETALING JAYA: The historic charter signed by Umno and PAS to formalise their political cooperation was, in fact, for the benefit of Najib Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a veteran journalist claimed.

A Kadir Jasin said he initially thought the decision by the country’s two largest Malay parties to come together was the brainchild of PAS “in order to benefit from the rising Islamic fervour”.

“But clearly now with the accused Umno ‘ketuas’ at the helm, the unity assembly was organised for the benefit of these people and their supporters,” he said on Facebook.

Kadir was referring to Najib and Zahid, the former and current Umno president, respectively, who are both facing multiple corruption charges.

Zahid and his PAS counterpart Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday signed the charter in front of thousands of members from both parties at the Putra World Trade Centre.

“For Najib and Zahid, and their fanatical supporters and hangers-on, the assembly was a temporary relief and diversion from the real thing – their ongoing criminal prosecution for corruption,” Kadir, who is Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s special adviser on media and communications, said.

He said PAS was “cooped” to give the assembly legitimacy and as a proof of Hadi and Najib’s deep friendship.

However, even though Hadi played “third fiddle” to Najib and Zahid, the Islamist party may just benefit from the alliance due to its solid leadership and grassroots, he said.

“The last time it married Umno in the aftermath of the 1969 general election, it used its government position to open branches in Felda schemes much to the annoyance of the latter,” he said.

PAS was later kicked out by prime minister Hussein Onn in 1977.

Kadir claimed that Umno is further divided by the get-together with PAS. Several Umno key leaders, he observed, “were visibly absent” from the gathering.

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.