KUALA LUMPUR – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused PAS today of intentionally facilitating a Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the next general election by refusing to ally with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), a “Malay-Muslim party”.

The PPBM chairman and former prime minister said whether or not PAS would work with Umno in the 14th general election, the Islamist party’s participation in the polls would reduce support for Pakatan Harapan — the federal Opposition pact comprising PPBM, DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara — and PAS itself.

“Pakatan Harapan and PAS will lose and Barisan Nasional will win.

“This is PAS’ true struggle. It’s not for race and religion; it’s aimed at weakening the Malays,” Dr Mahathir said on his blog.

Dr Mahathir claimed that since PAS’ inception, the party has weakened Malay politics, noting that PAS’ predecessor — the Pan Malayan Islamic Party (PMIP) — was formed by Umno “ulama” who left the Malay nationalist party when Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, only appointed a few of them in the federal legislative council and state councils.

“In the 1959 general elections, the first after Merdeka, PMIP manipulated Islam thoroughly. Umno members were made infidels supposedly for working with MCA and MIC infidels,” he said. “But PAS only won 13 Parliament seats in 1959 out of the 104 it contested.”

The former Umno president pointed out that PAS won the most number of federal seats in its history — 27 — when it worked with the DAP and PKR in the then-Barisan Alternatif in 1999.

“In 2004, when the DAP was not part of Barisan Alternatif, PAS only won seven seats.

“Then in 2008 and 2013, when [Barisan] Alternatif became Pakatan Rakyat and the DAP returned, PAS improved its performance. In 2008, PAS won 23 seats and in 2013, 21 seats,” said Dr Mahathir.

The elder statesman accused PAS members of holding an oath of loyalty to their party and leaders to the point that they were willing to “put Islam and the Al-Quran behind”.

“Now PAS is contesting supposedly to fight Umno, but it’s actually to give victory to Umno,” said Dr Mahathir.

– Malay Mail