New Malaysia opposition pact may strengthen govt's hand

Analysts say failure to include Malaysian Islamic Party - whose withdrawal caused the break up of the last agreement - could lead to lack of support among Malays

New Malaysia opposition pact may strengthen govt's hand

World Bulletin / News Desk

A new Malaysian opposition coalition pact is unlikely to win the support of the majority Malay community after the coalition left the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) out, experts warned Wednesday.

The original pact fell apart in June this year, when PAS and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) parted ways following disagreements in the implementation of Islamic penal code or hudud. 

Dr. Bushan Singh told the Anadolu Agency that it was a mistake not to include PAS -- one of the oldest political parties in the country -- in the Pakatan Harapan (Hope Pact), as it possesses huge support among Malays, especially in rural areas.

"The pact has mistaken the strength of the Islamic Party," he said. "Malays will now have more sympathy for them for being left out for championing an Islamic cause."

In June, PAS severed ties with other opposition parties -- the DAP and People's Justice Party -- for amending the Islamic penal code or hudud.

After months of confrontation, opposition party leaders confirmed in July that the previous alliance pact (the People's Pact) was dead.

Political observer Dr. Baharuddin Aziz told Anadolu Agency that the ruling UMNO -- also a Malay-based party -- now has the opportunity to merge with PAS, which would create an Islamic mega party with support from the majority of the electoral roll.

"A merger between UMNO and PAS is a long standing issue. All this while PAS's difference in opinion with UMNO and its links with other opposition parties had prevented the option," he said. "But now, PAS is pactless, which creates a huge pathway for UMNO to resume merger talks."

"If a merger never happens, even a collaboration would work in the next general election," he added.

On Tuesday, the People's Justice Party, DAP and National Trust Party launched the Hope Pact -- a new alliance they hope will finally consolidate the country’s opposition forces.

The three parties also agreed that imprisoned former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will be their candidate for prime minister should the new pact take federal power at the next general election.

Ibrahim is currently serving a five-year prison term for sodomising his former aide, a charge which he and opposition supporters have called politically motivated.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Eylül 2015, 14:44