PAS desperate in using ‘May 13’ bogeyman as GE15 looms, say analysts

It is a sign of desperation for PAS to raise the spectre of a repeat of the May 13, 1969 incident, if Malay parties do not have a predominant role in government, say analysts.

(FMT) – While Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya says PAS has never failed to use this strategy in all the elections, Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara feels this will backfire as the electorate has undergone massive changes.

“The moment PAS uses May 13, or as they say our ‘dark history’, it is obvious that they are desperate and playing with Malay sentiments to continue being part of the federal government,” Awang Azman told FMT.

“The leaders also know that without Umno as its ally, it is difficult for PAS to be part of the government. So its central committee has decided that the party will retain Umno as its consultative partner despite being snubbed.”
Awang Azman Pawi.

On Sunday, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said only unity among the Malay political parties could guarantee a government that would be fair and equal to all races.

He contended that this would be accepted by the majority of Malaysians as they did not wish to see a repeat of a “black mark” on the nation’s history.

Awang Azman said PAS must realise that it was not the only Malay-dominated party, and resorting to stirring ethnic and religious sentiments was a populist move just to win votes.

He pointed out that PKR was also dominated by Malays but it did not play the race card.

“PAS should be realistic and accept that all races must have an equal political say and their rights are enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.

Azmi Hassan.

Azmi said PAS’ race-baiting move and linking it to May 13 was an obvious desperate move to ensure the party continued to be in the federal government.

“This move will backfire as the voters know that the party is using race and religion for its own benefit,” he said.

“It wants to demonise its non-Malay political rivals and is trying to draw Umno to work with the party to continue being in the federal government after GE15.”

By saying only the unity of Malay political parties could ensure a stable government to avoid a repeat of May 13, PAS could also be trying to paint a negative picture of Umno, which had declared it would not cooperate with it and Bersatu, he said.

“PAS will go around saying Umno is not interested in Malay unity and thus paint a negative picture of the party.”