PAS will have easier time with Bersatu than with ‘big brother’ Umno, say analysts

They said the Islamist party will find it easier to deal with Bersatu in seat allocations in the east coast than face a hostile Umno there.

They also told The Malaysian Insight that PAS found it easier to work with Bersatu rather than Umno, which liked to play the role of a dominating big brother in the ruling pact.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) political analyst Mazlan Ali said PAS would find dealing with Umno in Kelantan and Terengganu tough.

“Umno in the state can’t accept PAS’ win in the last general election. We can see this from the remarks of their state leaders,” he said.

At the same time, he added PAS was not in contest with Bersatu in many seats in the last general election.

This pattern will follow in the coming elections with Bersatu unlikely contesting in PAS seats in the east coast, he said.

“They didn’t face each other in most of the seats in GE14, and this will help in their seat negotiations for GE15.”

Apart from that, he said, PAS will be seen like a champion of the Muslim community by working with Bersatu, while Umno would be castigated as working against Malay/Muslim interests by moving away from PAS.

“Umno will be seen as betraying the ummah as Malay voters would see the PAS-Bersatu combination as something positive for Malay unity.

“PAS will have an extra incentive in the east coast with the support of Bersatu, and may win over fence-sitting Malay voters right up in the northern states as well.

“If they are with Umno, they will have to fight each other for seats and support in these states,” he said.

Mazlan also felt that PAS could take advantage of PN support in winning over the support of non-Muslim voters in the west coast.

Ilham Centre’s executive director Hisommuddin Bakar, meanwhile, said PAS is confident of working with Bersatu and Muhyiddin Yassin as opposed to Umno led by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I think PAS has made up its decision to stick with Bersatu and PN. As such, they prefer to work with PN and Muhyiddin instead of Umno and Muafakat Nasional.

“The fact that they had joined the PN pact showed that they were more confident with Bersatu than with Umno,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Hisommuddin also said it is easier for PAS to negotiate seats with Bersatu than with Umno.

“It will be easier for PAS to hold seat talks with Bersatu. Umno wants to play the role of a big brother and to dominate the ruling pact. This does not sit well with PAS.

“As part of the ruling pact, PAS feels that Bersatu gives it enough space to play a role in the government.  

“With such a treatment, of course PAS would be happier with Muhyiddin,” he said.

May lose seats

Another political analyst, Awang Azman Awang Pawi, however, was of the opinion that PAS will be able to win more that 18 parliamentary seats if it sticks with Umno in the next election.

The Universiti Malaya analyst said with Umno, PAS can win an extra 20 to 25 seats.

“PAS’ position will be strengthened and secured with Umno as it will win more seats.

“PAS’ ties with Bersatu is only beneficial as long as Bersatu is in power,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

He added that with PN, PAS will only win nine to 10 seats in GE15.

He also said PAS may decide to work with Umno as soon as the parliament is dissolved for elections.

“Right now they might feel they have an upper hand with Bersatu, which is the ruling party.

“Once Parliament is dissolved, PAS may just work with Umno as Bersatu will no longer be in power.”

Umno has decided to go alone in GE15, opting to contest under the Barisan Nasional banner instead of working with Bersatu and PN.

Its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has also urged PAS to decide if it is still keen to work with Umno and Muafakata Nasional, or be with PN.  THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Hadi’s advice to Umno: Don’t play rough and cause a split

A day after Umno decided to sever ties with Bersatu, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said one should not play rough with its friends and cause disunity.

Hadi (photo, above) said the problem is that there is disunity among Muslims.

“I was asked questions about the current political situation that is happening in our country. This is my answer.

“The problem we have today is the disunity among Muslims. And thus, PAS is bringing the agenda to unite the ummah. Ummah here means all Muslims and non-Muslims who are not extreme. This is our unity agenda,” he said.

“So, do not play rough with friends. Instead, we must build relationships and unity among ourselves.

“Do not be the cause of a split. Be patient and become a peacemaker,” Hadi said in a statement posted on Facebook today.

The Marang MP did not specifically mention who was being referred to in the message.

However, Hadi’s advice comes after delegates at the Umno general assembly decided that the party would not continue cooperating with Bersatu.

The delegates also left it to Umno’s top leadership to decide when the party would pull off its support for the current Perikatan Nasional government.

Hadi was present at the assembly on Sunday, but he declined to answer queries from the media when asked about Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s policy speech that touched on Umno discontinuing its cooperation with Bersatu.  MKINI