PAS, Umno supporters no longer believe in pact, says don

Prof Mohd Tajuddin Rasdi says the low turnout at the Sungai Kandis by-election is an indication of this

(FMT) – An academic today said PAS and Umno supporters no longer have faith in the Umno-PAS pact and also what the two parties have been saying about the 1MDB scandal.

Prof Mohd Tajuddin Rasdi of UCSI University said he disagreed with a political analyst’s assertion that the low turnout was a “silent protest” against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

Tajuddin said if the 17,000 voters of PAS and Umno had cast their votes yesterday, Pakatan Harapan would have lost.

According to the Election Commission, only 49.4% of voters came to cast their ballots in the polls which saw PKR’s Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni garner 15,423 votes, while Barisan Nasional’s Lokman Noor Adam obtained 9,585 votes.

There are 50,800 registered voters in the constituency.

“This shows that 50% of PAS and Umno supporters no longer believe the lies surrounding 1MDB and also the pact between the two parties,” Tajuddin told FMT.

He was alluding to the spate of revelations by authorities over the scandal-plagued investment arm following Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the May 9 polls.

Former prime minister Najib Razak, who is at the centre of the investigations, has denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, ties between Umno and PAS has become warmer post-GE14, with the Islamist party giving way to Umno to contest the Sungai Kandis by-election and urging its supporters to back the BN.

BN recently returned the favour by opting out of the impending Seri Setia by-election, following the recent death of assemblyman Shaharuddin Badaruddin. BN also said it would go “all out” to campaign for PAS in the polls.

Tajuddin went on to cautioned that PAS is now in real danger of losing whatever Islamic credentials it had.

“They had played down the 1MDB issue in the past, but after GE14, authorities probing the scandal seized cash and luxurious items.”

Support for Umno, he added, could be completely eroded if Najib continued to remain in the limelight.

While Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the party’s president, Najib has lately been speaking out against the current Pakatan Harapan government, including on the abolishment of the goods and services tax (GST) and the nation’s debt.

Yesterday, Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Awang Pawi said many who had voted for the coalition last May could have been frustrated by what they felt was a lack of seriousness on the part of ruling politicians over their election promises.

PH had vowed to implement 10 promises from its manifesto within its 100 days in power, but Awang Azman said only two had been fulfilled so far.

“Constituents came out to vote because they were confident in PH fulfilling their manifesto, however, PH has not proved so,” said Awang Azman.