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Friday, 13 June 2008
PITA POLITIK (35): WHAT IF MAJORITY WANTS UMNO TO "SLEEP" WITH ITS OLD ENEMY?
The Majlis Permuafakatan Melayu in session in JohorBahru, 4 May 2008 (Photo: A.F.Yassin)
2008/06/13 OPINION: Pas will not 'sleep with the enemy' again
Secret meetings and overtures are purportedly taking place between Pas and Umno for the common ground of Malay unity. But some old wounds are still festering, writes ZUBAIDAH ABU BAKAR.
JUST 100 days ago, the most respected ulama in Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas) said the Islamist party would not rejoin Barisan Nasional. Pas co-founder Burhanuddin al-Helmy
The assurance by Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the party's 77-year-old spiritual adviser, was made during a press conference at Pas' headquarters in Kota Baru on March 8, soon after it was confirmed that Pas had been returned to power in the state it had held for 18 years.
Nik Aziz, who is Kelantan menteri besar, said Umno had "played out" Pas during the party's BN era, and Pas would not fall into the same trap again. To Nik Aziz and many other Pas leaders, it is a simple case of once bitten, twice shy. Pas learned a bitter lesson when it collaborated with Barisan Nasional and Umno from 1970 to 1978.
It was painful for Pas to see its members split into groups after it left BN; while the faithful stayed on to rebuild the party, some joined Umno and splinter parties like Berjasa and Hamim. A small fraction chose to become inactive in Pas. The problems began when the then prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein picked Datuk Mohamed Nasir over another Pas candidate to be Kelantan menteri besar after the 1974 general election. This led to a vote of no-confidence in the state assembly against Nasir, triggering protests in his defence and leading to the imposition of emergency rule in Kelantan.
How about Islam as a common denominator for PAS and UMNO to embrase Malay unity?
Pas' recalcitrance led to its expulsion from BN, ending its brief collaboration with Umno. The party lost the state election in 1978 and was only able to wrest it back 12 years later. It has remained in power since.
But there is now fresh talk that Pas might seek to renew old ties with Umno and rejoin BN. Is this possible? (Excerpt from NST ONLINE, 13 June 2008)
Comment: Simply said there was no way that PAS would rejoin Barisan Nasional after such a painful experience during the PAS short term coalition in BN in the 1990's. On the contrary, Datuk Nik Aziz, now invites individual UMNO members to join PAS and points a direct hint to Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who resigned from UMNO recently. Never mind if Tun Mahathir was exceptionally vocal against PAS when he was leading BN. Or never mind if PAS is now in "comfort zone" with the other political parties under "Pakatan Rakyat".
Datuk Nik Aziz should probably try to reconcile the political and personal differences between Tun Mahathir and Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim and then pursue the final objective of overthrowing the BN government. After all everything is possible in politics. As they use to say, "Today you are my 'true' enemy, and yet tomorrow you will be my 'true friend'. Then, we just can forget the Malay unity or the "ketuanan Melayu" as envisaged by Majlis Permuafakatan Melayu in Johor Bahru, 2-4 May 2008. By the way, any follow-up on the resolutions passed by the Majlis, promptly delivered to the Sultan of Johor?