KUALA LUMPUR – Jan 14, 2017: Pas will gain more if it works with Umno instead of Pakatan Harapan (PH).
That was the opinion of geostrategist Azmi Hassan on the possible setting-up of a coalition between Pas, PKR and Pribumi Bersatu, as revealed by Pas election director Datuk Mustafa Ali on Thursday.
“With Umno, the sure thing is that Pas could retain Kelantan in the next general election,” said Azmi when contacted by The Mole on the matter.
Mustafa had in an earlier interview with The Mole confirmed that Pas, PKR and Pribumi Bersatu leaders are discussing the formation of a coalition catering for especially the Malay Muslim electorates.
“The question that needed to be posed to Pas leaders is that, which cooperation the party will gain most…either with Pakatan or Umno, the lynchpin of Barisan Nasional (BN)?” the geostrategist commented,
Azmi also regarded the plan for a new opposition coalition as part of the game plan by Pas, PKR and Pribumi Bersatu to test the response of the grassroots, particularly supporters of the quarreling DAP and Pas.
He said the coalition may actually becomes a reality if DAP and Pas supporters responded positively to the idea.
On whether such a new coalition could affect Umno’s chances in the next general election, the geostrategist said the spill-over effect would be the reduction of the party’s conservative Malay votes bank.
“Looking at Umno’s strength, it’s true that its strongholds are in rural areas. However, the party also enjoys good rapport with conservatives among urban Malays. This might pose challenges to the forging of the new opposition coalition,” added Azmi.
Commenting on the cordial relationship between Umno and Pas of late, Azmi said “nothing is a sure thing in politics.”
“When Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang were talking (earlier), it is still not translated into a political cooperation.
“That is the reason why Hadi was willing to explore all available options. He is aware that Pas cannot be alone come the next general election,” he added.
Azmi, however, predicted that the opposition parties would likely fail to form the new coalition catering for especially the Malay Muslim electorates due to the conflict between the Islamist Pas and Chinese-based DAP.
“You cannot hoodwink the Malays by saying that Pas, PKR and Pribumi Bersatu will cooperate for their sake, while at the same time, PKR and Pribumi are working with the DAP.
“This is because the party (DAP) is too deep with its anti-Malay stand. Maybe it’s fine for PH to work with Pribumi, with the party being an outsider. Roping in Pas (in a new coalition) is too far-fetched,” said Azmi.