PAS divided whether to work with Umno or Bersatu
(FMT) – Members of PAS are uneasy after a decision by party leaders to sanction the use of Perikatan Nasional’s logo by PAS candidates in the Melaka elections, says a party insider.
The source, who declined to be named, said the uneasiness in the ranks could spell trouble for PN lynchpin Bersatu.
According to the source, PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement that Bersatu, PAS and Gerakan would contest under the coalition’s banner caught many in PAS by surprise.
Some in the Islamic party’s ranks have made their feelings known.
Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki, a central committee member said the matter should be discussed by the party while PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was more direct, saying the party should use its own logo in the polls.
“Decisions in PN that concern PAS are made only by a few leaders who are more inclined to Bersatu, but not all the other MPs in PAS share their sentiment.
“Many in PAS are aware that they are in a stronger position if aligned with Umno,” said the source, adding the logo issue could worsen the situation.
The source said that this was especially the case in Melaka where Umno’s grassroots and machinery was far stronger than Bersatu’s. He said Bersatu is split between its original members and the followers of those who jumped ship from Umno and PKR.
“It also doesn’t help the PAS cause when PN is pushing narratives like ‘Melaka Sayang Abah’ (Melaka Loves Muhyiddin). He led a failed government, how will that get us votes?” he said.
Universiti Malaya socio-political analyst Awang Azman Pawi said he believed the discontent in PAS went beyond the use of the PN logo in the Melaka polls.
“It is the tip of the iceberg, I believe the PAS grassroots still see cooperation with Umno as being more beneficial than working with Bersatu, especially in Melaka.
“Bersatu is not strong in Melaka and this could affect PAS. Being in the losing bloc in the state polls could be seen as a measurement of support in GE15.”
Awang Azman said unhappiness among PAS grassroots could lead to its members boycotting the Melaka elections, to send a clear message to the leadership.
He also said the promotion of the Melaka Sayang Abah narrative may affect Bersatu and PAS ties, as it places emphasis on Muhyiddin’s personality rather than the coalition.
“It is as if PAS has nothing to offer but their support for Muhyiddin.”