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11:08am 02/02/2022
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The Umno-Baru and PAS break-up

By Mariam Mokhtar

PAS president Hadi Awang is desperate. He may call Umno-Baru derogatory names like “lame duck”, but the convicted felon Najib Abdul Razak, who is also desperate, albeit for different reasons, has the upper hand.

The two men were instrumental in causing the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat soon after GE-13 and part-way through Najib’s tenure as prime minister in 2013-2018.

Najib encouraged the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat by openly supporting Hadi’s call for hudud in the state of Kelantan.

The progressives in PAS like Mat Sabu and Husam Musa were forced to leave by the conservative faction led by Hadi.

At the 61st PAS muktamar in 2015, 22 of the 23 seats of the central committee were won by the ulamas. The progressives did not stand a chance!

Today, the bromance between Najib and Hadi lies in tatters.

These two men should have realized that, like real-life relationships, if the political union is not based on a solid foundation of mutual understanding, respect and common interests that have been built over time, then that union is bound to falter.

The rift between PAS and Umno-Baru deepened ever since the Melaka state election in November 2021.

Umno-Baru was victorious. PAS was forced to lick its wounds.

Najib is desperate to lead the country again, so that when he is in power, he can engineer his freedom from incarceration as he has been charged and sentenced in the SRC International case.

At present he is working on his appeal, and if possible he would like to push for a snap general election as he is very confident Umno-Baru will triumph in the upcoming Johor state election.

Hadi is desperate to remain in power. He has tasted what it feels like to be in Putrajaya, and he is also aware that he and his party may not be able to secure many Malay votes in the future.

This is ironic considering both PAS and Umno-Baru warned the Malays in the past that only these two parties could protect Islam and defend the Malays.

In 2022, the Malays are more divided than ever, no thanks to both PAS and Umno-Baru.

PAS politicians are a disappointment. From stoking racist and religious fires up north in Kedah, to their ministers being inadequate for their ministerial roles.

One such person is the Minister for the Environment Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, whose knowledge about environmental issues is non-existent.

Hadi has a limited shelf life. Rewarded for his loyalty with a post as Malaysia’s special envoy to the Middle East, he is aware that he is on borrowed time.

What has Hadi done for improving Middle Eastern relations? He only teamed up with Najib because it was politically expedient; but Hadi is also a political opportunist.

His lust for power and his lack of morals were evident when he saw the meteoric rise of Bersatu in the Sheraton Move.

He promptly dropped Najib in favor of Mahiaddin Yassin.

Najib faced incarceration and teaming up with Mahiaddin seemed a better bet.

Perhaps Hadi should have listened to the words of PAS’ former leader, the much respected spiritual advisor Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Right until the day he died, Nik Abdul Aziz warned his party not to form any alliance with Umno-Baru.

In 2014, the Pengkalan Kubor PAS operation committee director Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah told reporters no PAS member would dare talk about a possible merger with Umno-Baru. He said that Nik Aziz would spit in the face of those who wanted to team up with Umno-Baru and said anyone wishing to collaborate with Umno-Baru had to wait for him to die first.

Did Hadi listen? No. He was desperate to jump into the political bed made by Najib and conquer Putrajaya.

Soon after Nik Aziz died, this is precisely what Hadi did.

Malaysian politics has been on the decline for over five decades. Few people trust politicians. Instead of uniting the nation, politicians from race-based parties divide people with religious and racial sentiments.

These divisions are meaningless and retard the nation’s progress.

Instead of fighting for the peoples’ interests of improving the economy, of reducing the high cost of living, of cleaning up the environment, of taking proper control of logging which has caused untold damage to the forests, to wildlife, to towns and cities, to loss of food security, to climate change, and to flooding, politicians like Hadi and Najib and their peers merely want to take care of their political futures.

They fail to deal with important issues, and their political whoring brings Malaysian democracy into disrepute.

Najib and his peers like Zahid Hamidi face a slew of corruption charges in court. They are aware that they can overturn these charges only with a general election win.

Hadi’s hold on power is by manipulating weak Malay/Muslim minds.

In Perak, PAS chief Razman Zakaria warned supporters that they should listen to their leaders and not question them.

Why do PAS leaders treat the grassroots like imbeciles?

On January 28, Hadi urged Muafakat Nasional to encompass Bersatu and non-Muslim parties.

All the while Hadi had no time for other religions or non-Malays. This U-turn is not because Hadi has seen the light but because he is desperate to cling on to power at all costs.

Gong Xi Fa Chai!

Sources:

1. Malaysiakini: Hadi: We nursed ‘lame duck’ Umno, now they are leaving us

2. Astro Awani: Nik Aziz would never allow PAS to merge with Umno

(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)

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