Why did Abdul Hadi Awang refuse the opportunity to create a Malay unity government and further develop Islam in Malaysia?

A lost opportunity for Islam. ‘Malay unity’ has only been a convenient mythology.

Murray Hunter

On December 19, FMT reported that a highly placed representative of the Muslim Brotherhood tried to broker a reconciliation between PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. From the Muslim brotherhood’s point of view, the objective of that reconciliation was to strengthen the voice of Muslim leaders on the international stage. The secondary effect would have been the creation of a real Malay unity government, that had a platform to further the development of Malaysia, as an Islamic state.

This reconciliation would have been a perfect time to cement ‘Malay unity’ in government. This time would have also been opportune to fulfil a decades long ambition to further Islamize Malaysia. The government under Anwar has shown the government’s willingness to further the influence of Islam in both government and society. The addition to PAS within the unity government would have amplified Islamization.

Happier times for the duo

Both Anwar and Hadi, as past presidents of ABIM could have become an example to the Islamic world of what Islamic government could look like.

The FMT report further went on to say that the Muslim Brotherhood representative from Qatar was unsuccessful at bringing Anwar and Hadi together. Anwar and Hadi had worked together in the old Pakatan Rakyat coalition between 2008 and 2015. Unity between Anwar and Hadi would have greatly strengthened the Muslim brotherhood with Anwar’s links with the Recep Tayyip Erdogan group and Hadi’s close links and respect from Muslim Scholars close to the brotherhood. They would have been very effective at advocating Islamic issues to a world audience, especially with the current plight of the Palestinians.

Anwar put out an ‘olive branch’ to PAS to join the unity government earlier this year. However, the FMT report points to Hadi as the person who rejected these overtures, at a great loss to both the Ummah in Malaysia and the world.

It is unfortunate that Hadi’s personal feelings are standing in the way of unifying all Malays under a single government, and not taking the up the opportunity to advance Islam in Malaysia, from the platform the unity government provides.

Malay unity has just been a political tool.

Hadi has given the appearance that all the talk about Malay unity is just that – empty talk. All the talk about furthering Islam in Malaysia has been sacrificed for personal reasons, only known to himself. PAS has fought in the name of ‘God’, only to give up a real opportunity to make the government a facilitating agent for Islam, and Dakwah around the world.

This can be seen as a deep betrayal of the Malays, Islam, and the nation as a whole. Hadi is keeping the Malays divided in the interests of political advantage. This only weakens the position of Malays, and proves the concept of ‘Malay unity’ has only been a convenient mythology, used for political gain.