Political miscalculations of PAS-Umno saga


The writings on the wall indicate the PAS is probably making a move that will be costly to the Pakatan.

Ali Cordoba (Free Malaysia Today)

After the 1999 general election, some pro-Umno newspapers hailed a possible Umno-PAS merger, calling it the “union” of the future for the Malay-majority community in the country.

PAS has since then been on the threshold of a “real” possibility of re-joining the Barisan National. But at what cost will it take that plunge into Umno’s arms?

Before 1999 – the reformasi era – PAS was weak with only Kelantan remaining strong in its hands. But that, as we know it, was always an affair of the Kelantan PAS and not a result of any greatness in PAS’ national leadership.

The Kelantan PAS under Nik Aziz Nik Mat has remained until today the only one that has not been defeated by the Umno-BN machinery. It is the only state that slipped from the hands of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno has never managed to wrest it back.

On the national level, PAS has been boosted by its alliance with the reform movement launched by Anwar Ibrahim before his ISA arrest. It is known that the early leaders of the reform movement – many of whom have since returned to Umno – were setting up committees with the help of PAS to free Anwar from jail.

PAS – at the national level – was hoping that these “reformasi” elements would join the party in droves and would leave Umno bare. Many did leave but their move to PAS was hijacked by the creation of the Justice Party, better known as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), in the aftermath of Anwar’s beating and his infamous black eye.

It could be said that without PKR and Anwar’s trials and the calls for reform by the pro-Anwar elements in the country, PAS would have remained a “Kelantan champion” and the party would have had little impact nationally.

Those who joined the “tsunami” of the reform movement did so because they saw an opportunity to make personal gains. The 2008 political tsunami swept the country in five states.

Among these cunning politicians who joined the reformasi movement, many have since been ejected from the movement, or were worn out by the lengthy fight for power or were attracted by the greed of easy comfort elsewhere.

And PAS is bound to join them in this category if it were to jump ship at the last minute.

The writings on the wall indicate that PAS is probably making a move that will be costly to Pakatan.

PAS-DAP issue

However, due to the nature of today’s politics and the slippery political landscape in Malaysia, a PAS move towards Umno may not yield the expected result.

A PAS-Umno alliance on the eve of the 13th general election may end up being an empty shell.

The attacks by Shanon Ahmad and deputy mursyidul am of PAS, Harun Din, against the DAP and Anwar recently are signs of a crack within the PAS leadership. It also shows the impatience that has ruined the peace within PAS.

It’s clear that many among the PAS leadership do not approve of PAS working together with the DAP. But this opposition is probably based on the possibility that if this issue is exploited, then PAS would join Umno in the end.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/10/19/political-miscalculations-of-pas-umno-saga/