THE muafakat nasional between PAS and Umno has failed to take off in Terengganu, said state Pakatan Harapan leaders.
Amanah grassroots leader Miqdad Zakaria told The Malaysian Insight the reluctance of PAS state leaders to share positions with Umno is one reason for the failure of the pact.
“When the cooperation was announced, it should have included shared positions, which means unity between PAS and Umno.
“If we want to keep the menteri besar and exco positions to ourselves and not share with our muafakat colleagues, it shows the pact is mere rhetoric and the cooperation between PAS and Umno has failed miserably,” the Marang division chief told The Malaysian Insight in Terengganu.
The failure is apparent as unlike Kelantan, Barisan Nasional here remains the opposition in the state assembly, he said.
Terengganu was under PAS rule from the 1999 to 2004 after which it was unseated by BN.
PAS and Umno have a history of rivalry where both have traded barbs, calling each other infidels and extremists.
The rivalry also resulted in mosques and suraus being divided along party lines.
After losing federal power in 2018, Umno decided to bury the hatchet and mend ties with PAS.
The two opposition parties then formed the muafakat nasional pact in September 2019 to work on common issues on religion and race, as well as to unite Malay voters to defeat PH in the next general election.
PAS-Umno stuck to past
Miqdad said the state chapters of the parties have their own internal problems.
Terengganu PAS has three factions, one which is pro-Menteri Besar Samsuri Mokhtar, another aligned to the senior exco while the third faction is a neutral group.
“The same goes with Umno. They have factions such as those aligned to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, which impacts on muafakat nasional.
“And today PAS is supporting Dr Mahathir Mohamad, hence it seems that muafakat nasional lacks stability.
“I am just waiting for the cooperation to disintegrate.”
Muafakat nasional in Terengganu will also fail because of the old rivalry between PAS and Umno, he said.
This coupled with the political background of Terengganu folk who have their own thoughts, can result in drastic changes like what happened in the 2004 elections.
“PAS cannot get over the bad blood with Umno and Umno cannot forget the bad blood with PAS.
“When it comes to state administration both PAS and Umno have secrets. PAS has to cover up for Umno, now that they have become unofficial partners.
“As soon as PAS took over the state, they had to settle a RM300 million debt (and) things like this disrupts the administration.”
State PKR chief Azan Ismail also said the cooperation between the two will fail.
PKR, too, had the experience of being betrayed by PAS when the latter broke a pledge on the division of seats for GE13, he said.
“We decided and PAS broke the promise which led to three-way fights.”
As a result, the then Pakatan Rakyat pact lost the Seberang Takir, Kota Putera and Bukit Besi state seats.
The equation between the two parties has also become strained following the appointment of state Umno liaison chief Ahmad Said.
“Terengganu Umno did not agree with Umno leadership, what more when its led by Mat Said,” he said.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT