Muslim unity narrative a ruse to weaken Umno, says analyst

PAS’ Muslim unity narrative when pushing to work with Umno in the coming general election is a subtle ploy to weaken the latter, an analyst said.

(FMT) – Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said PAS realised that Umno would not join forces with them as long as they remained with Perikatan Nasional, the coalition led by Bersatu.

Umno had previously declared it would not work with Muhyiddin Yassin’s party.

“They are trying to portray Umno as a party that does not care for Muslim unity (by continuously spurning the invite).

“This is an ingenious way of weakening and belittling Umno,” he told FMT.

On Sept 11, PAS said it still regarded Umno as a partner after revealing that no progress had been made in its discussion with the party for the 15th general election.

Azmi said he also expected the Muslim unity narrative to be raised by PN during the election campaigning period where the coalition would paint Umno as being selfish and power-hungry.

However, he felt that PAS’ tactic could backfire as Umno might turn the tables on them by accusing PAS of flip-flopping merely to bring Umno down.

“PAS needs to be careful about courting both Umno and Bersatu at the same time,” he said.

Umno and PAS, the two largest Malay-based parties, formed Muafakat Nasional in September 2019 as an electoral pact aimed at uniting the Malay-Muslim vote.

However, ties between the two parties have grown increasingly strained after PAS joined Bersatu to form PN when Muhyiddin Yassin was the prime minister.