UKM lecturer says PAS seems to have forgotten that Umno is its main rival and not DAP, PKR or Amanah.
KUALA LUMPUR: PAS’ cordial ties with Umno does not bode well for the Islamist party and threatens to reduce it to being a “regional party”, says a political analyst.
Faisal S Hazis, who is with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, says the relationship between the two parties may give voters the impression that they are no different to each other.
“PAS seems to have forgotten to factor in that its biggest rival is still Umno and not the DAP, Amanah or PKR.
“And since you have formed an alliance of sorts, you’re not attacking your biggest rival.
“If this continues, they will go back to their role as a ‘regional party’, back to their base which is the East Coast,” Faisal said.
Ties between the two parties, who were once bitter rivals, have become friendlier recently, especially with Umno supporting PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s tabling of a motion in the Dewan Rakyat to bring about shariah amendments with heavier penalties for offenders.
Umno and PAS leaders have also shared the same stage on a few occasions, including a rally attended by Hadi and Umno president Najib Razak to highlight the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar on Dec 4 last year.
There has also been a proposal for PAS and Umno to work together in the next general election (GE14).
“This will be detrimental to PAS as voters may decide to go with the party that works,” he told FMT at a forum, referring to Umno, which heads the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Faisal pointed out how PAS had evolved into a national party after becoming part of the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat in the last general election (GE13).
Speaking at a forum entitled “Multi-Cornered Contest: Bane or Boon?” yesterday, Faisal suggested that PAS wanted to be more like Umno.