UMNO and PAS, with the “same DNA”, will pursue “stronger cooperation” as the 14th general election approaches, party information chief Annuar Musa said.
Both parties share the same political struggles, even if they are ideologically different, he said.
“There is common ground where we can meet, such as the objective of our struggles, which is more important. Based on that, I predict that there will be stronger cooperation between Umno and PAS from time to time.
“Wait a few more weeks or months as the next general election draws nearer.
“I believe the Umno and PAS leaderships will have announcements on the interest of religion that will make Malays and Muslims happy,” he said at Umno’s Perjuangan4All dialogue in Balik Pulau last night.
Annuar said this did not mean that Umno is joining PAS, or the Islamist party – long regarded as a traditional rival – will join Umno or Barisan Nasional.
He said under the present leadership, PAS is more willing to consider what it has in common with Umno.
“Previously, PAS looked for ways to set itself apart from Umno, but under its current leadership, there seems to be changes. They now think about what we have in common.
“Actually, Umno and PAS have a lot in common. Let us celebrate that.”
Annuar said politics in Malaysia was split into two groups with different DNAs.
Umno and its splinter parties – PAS, PKR and Bersatu – all have the same DNA, sharing the same ideology, goals and struggles to protect race, religion and country, although their ways of looking at things might be different.
The other group, he said, has a totally different DNA – opposing what Umno fought for.
“PAS comes from the same DNA (as Umno). That is why I say we have meeting points. PAS and Umno will not be moving parallel to each other forever. We will meet somewhere.”
PAS was formerly part of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition with PKR and DAP. The coalition collapsed in 2015 after PAS broke ties with DAP over the hudud issue. PAS ended its political cooperation with PKR this May.
In recent times, PAS has been making friendly gestures towards Umno. The Islamist party is now forming its own coalition, a third bloc called Gagasan Sejahtera with smaller parties Berjasa, Parti Ikatan Malaysia (Ikatan), and Parti Cinta Malaysia.
Earlier, Annuar said Umno’s true enemy is DAP, which has a different DNA.
He said DAP was a manifestation of Singapore’s PAP, and accused the former of starting racial politics by striking fear into the Chinese in Malaysia despite the present government preserving their rights to their cultural identity, language and freedom of religion all these years since Merdeka.
He also took a dig at the present relationship between DAP and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who now chairs the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan.
Annuar said DAP only wanted to dominate and would use Dr Mahathir, who was in power from 1981 to 2003, to split the Malays.
“Do you believe DAP supports Dr Mahathir? DAP attacked him all the time at Parliament when he was in power. Now when he is not in power, DAP is supporting him.
“I don’t think each trust the other. They work together because DAP needs to use Dr Mahathir to disunite the Malays.
“DAP doesn’t believe in (PH and PKR president) Dr Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail) either but it will use anyone to split the Malays, just like how it had used PAS.”
Annuar and Balik Pulau MP Dr Hilmi Yahya, who is also deputy health minister, were panellists in the dialogue moderated by Associate Professor Junaidi Abu Bakar of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Ethnic Studies Institute.
The dialogue at Maktab Rendah Sains Mara in Pondok Upeh, Balik Pulau, was largely attended by local Umno leaders, and a few hundred Umno and Barisan Nasional members and supporters.