KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — PAS election director Datuk Seri Sanusi Md Nor believes the Muafakat Nasional (MN) political pact between his party and Umno would still be alive if the latter party is helmed by someone other than Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said PAS still welcomed any cooperation with Umno under the MN banner because they were fellow Muslims, adding that their coalition is what all Muslims in Malaysia need, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
“It's clearly stated in our MN charter that it is for all Muslims including Bumiputera from Sabah and Sarawak. However when Zahid returned to helm Umno from then president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan he did not want to work with Bersatu or any other party. He wanted PAS and Umno only, which is wrong,” Sanusi was quoted as saying in Alor Setar, Kedah.
Mohamad was acting Umno president for six-months from December 2018 to June 2019 when Zahid was pressured to take garden leave from official party duties to face corruption charges.
“So the one that split PAS and caused MN to collapse was the president of Umno and not PAS. This despite them not being happy working with DAP. I believe that MN can be formed again if Zahid was no Umno president anymore.”
PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Hashim Jasin separately told Utusan Malaysia that Umno would fall into obscurity in the next general election due in 2027 if the Malay nationalist party continued to work with DAP.
He claimed the majority of Malays and Umno's grassroots were unhappy with the party's coalition with DAP and blamed Zahid for the discontent.
“Votes for PAS have increased and they're coming from Umno fans in protest of their coalition with DAP. It's impossible for them not to realise this at this point,” Hashim was quoted as saying.
He cited Umno’s overwhelming loss in the recent Kemaman parliamentary by-election in Terengganu to support his assertion.
“We never declared Umno as an enemy but if it continues on this path they will be buried after GE16,” he was quoted as saying.
Zahid has been staving off internal criticism over Umno’s decision to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its component party DAP — which it had previously and repeatedly portrayed as racist and chauvinist — to form the federal government together with two other political powerhouses in Sabah and Sarawak after GE15 last year resulted in a hung Parliament.
The Umno president continues to be under internal pressure, the latest from Isham Jalil who had until yesterday been a party supreme council member, expressed his discontent with the party working with PH and DAP especially, after being sworn enemies for decades.
The MN pact for Muslim political cooperation was signed between Umno and PAS in September 2019, after losing to the PH coalition in the general election of 2018.
That partnership broke up a few years later with Umno leaders accusing PAS leaders of deception when the latter party teamed up with Bersatu — an Umno political offshoot Zahid has refused to work with.
Recently PAS leaders like deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man who said that his party is open to working with Umno again.
But Zahid has rejected PAS’ newest overture for the two Malay Muslim parties to work together again.
He said Umno has learnt from the past and made up its mind not to work with the Islamist party again and described PAS as being “talak crazy”.