Why PAS and Umno’s formal union is finally happening… and inevitable
“It is simplistic to say that the political cooperation between Umno and PAS only serves the Malays but what we do, especially as an effective opposition, is to the interest of everyone.
(MMO) – Tomorrow, Umno and PAS will sign a charter solidifying the political relationship between the once-bitter rivals in the lead up to the next polls, the climax of the Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (Muslim Unity Rally) that is meant to unite the Malay-Muslim community.
But on the first day of the event today, both parties will hold joint programmes at Umno’s headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre here, in perhaps what is a sobering moment for Malaysian politics — or at the very least for these two parties that had one point vehemently opposed one another.
This will lead to the peak of the planned gathering tomorrow, with grassroots members of both parties coming together via a mega rally to showcase the new union’s might, and also a potential threat to the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
While some would be quick to dismiss the alliance between the two Malay parties as one borne out of necessity, and the need to form a cohesive opposition coalition to keep PH in check, the fact remains that there appears to be a disconnect between the ruling coalition and ordinary Malaysians, particularly the Malay community.
And this has partly resulted in a resurgence of support for the Islamist and nationalist parties, ever since they started promoting the idea of combining forces for the sake of Malay-Muslim unity.
The reason some voters still root for Umno and PAS
Universiti Malaya’s Malay Studies Academy deputy director Awang Azman Awang Pawi believed that PAS and Umno’s rise in popularity among some Malays is mainly due to the “racialisation” of economic issues like youth employment and government pensions.
“This alliance between them is a social mechanism born to balance the inequality in terms of economic and social concerns in the society,” the associate professor told Malay Mail, referring to the two parties.