Muafakat Nasional’s future at a crossroad
MUAFAKAT Nasional (MN), the coalition of Umno and Islamist party, PAS, is in a critical situation as it faces the possibility of disbanding after the recent state elections.
(The Malaysian Reserve) – The coalition has faced several challenges, including internal conflict and the loss of support from its core constituency.
Among the problems that have plagued the coalition are the lack of mutual trust between both parties.
According to Dr Azmi Hassan, senior fellow at Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research and an expert on Malaysian politics, the coalition’s “semi-defunct” status is due to the fact that PAS has demanded something that is beyond Umno’s ability to deliver. However, he said that there is still hope for MN to be revived or resurrected.
“Because why did it fail before this, especially during the Melaka and Johor state elections? Because PAS demanded something that was beyond Umno’s ability to entertain, in terms of number of seats. But for GE15 (the 15th General Election), PAS has a lot to offer Umno, especially in Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, where its influence is quite formidable,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
However, he added that Umno’s confidence in its current strength is not unwarranted.
“Barisan Nasional (BN) is basically more confident in going solo compared to PAS going solo. But again, on paper, the reality is that the combination of PAS and Umno going together in GE15 will be much stronger. If MN is revived, then in the formation of the federal government, most probably Umno and PAS will be the dominant parties.