‘Peacemaker’ PAS bent on stopping return of PH?

However, the question remains of whether Bersatu and Umno will agree to PAS’ ‘formula’ for the general election.

(MalaysiaNow) – Questions continue over whom PAS will choose to work with for the 15th general election (GE15), even as political parties snap into election mode following the dissolution of Parliament this week.

For political observer Ahmad Atory Hussain, PAS may be following its own “formula”, seeking to play the role of conciliator between the two other Malay parties: Umno and Bersatu.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he said the Islamist party had long wanted to unite Umno and PAS, in a bid to strengthen the Malay political scene against opposition pact Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“PAS is indebted to Umno which has helped it financially and with whom it formed the Muafakat Nasional (MN) agreement in 2019,” Atory added.

“The same goes for Bersatu. PAS often says that if Muhyiddin Yassin had not gone through with the Sheraton Move, PAS would not have tasted power at the minister and deputy minister level, or held positions in GLCs.”

Atory believes there is a strong possibility that PAS will help both Umno and Bersatu in GE15, the date of which will be set when the Election Commission (EC) meets on Oct 20.

He said this meant that PAS would lend its support in any constituency contested by Umno and Bersatu by refraining from fielding candidates of its own for those seats.

“Take the Sabah state election,” he said. “PAS didn’t contest a single seat. But after the election, they got one state seat as a gift from the Sabah government.”

Even if the seat in question is contested by both Umno and Bersatu, he said, PAS would provide support as long as PH does not field its candidate there as well.

If such a scenario does play out, he said, the PH candidate would cause a split in votes, potentially leading to victory for the opposition coalition.

“But PAS has its own solution: in parliamentary seats where the Malays form the majority, it will let Umno and Bersatu compete.

“If Umno wins, good. If Bersatu wins, that’s fine as well. What’s important for PAS is that the seat is won by either of these two parties,” he said.

But political analyst Mujibu Abd Muis said PAS’ formula of wanting to play the peacemaker between Bersatu and Umno would not work unless PH wins GE15.

Consequently, he said, a re-evaluation would be done after the election is over.

He said if Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Barisan Nasional (BN) lose, chances are that the three political parties will come together once more.

There are a total of 28 seats with Malay majorities of 50% or more.

Atory said this meant that PH would have a chance of winning in the event of three-way fights with BN and PN.

“But if Umno, PAS and Bersatu cooperate only in those 28 seats, Umno or Bersatu might win in straight fights,” he added.

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