Can Umno-PAS save Malaysia?

They have done nothing to indicate that they have repented of their own long sleazy history of racism. Are we expected to pretend that the racist taunts, the dismissal of non-Malays as “pendatang, as an existential threat to Islam and the Malays, the persistent belittling and harassment of other faiths, etc. never happened or was merely an aberration?

Dennis Ignatius, Free Malaysia Today

In the aftermath of GE14, many Malaysians were hoping that Umno would quickly reconstitute itself into the kind of credible opposition that our nation desperately needs if it is to function as a true democracy. There was hope that the grand old party of Malaysian politics would take stock of where it went wrong, learn from its mistakes and chart a new more responsible course.

Umno’s decision to forge an alliance with PAS has now put paid to such hopes. Instead of charting a new course, Umno has opted to dig the trenches of racism and extremism even deeper by working with an irreparably extremist party that has consistently rejected democracy, inclusiveness and religious tolerance.

Umno and PAS leaders are now going into overdrive to stress that their agenda is an inclusive one that will take into account the interests of all Malaysians. With impressive Orwellian skills, they are describing their union as “a new deal” for Malaysia, “a new beginning” for all Malaysians, the start of “a new national discourse,” “an alliance of hope” to save Malaysia from Pakatan Harapan.