Islamist party PAS has caused irreparable split among Malays and Muslims in the country and cannot attract votes when it contests as a standalone party, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Taking to his blog last night, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson said PAS' decision to not cooperate with opposition parties and to field candidates in seats it cannot win, meant that the party is in support of Umno and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, by splitting votes for the opposition.
"The split among Malays and Muslims is irreparable ever since PAS was founded," said Mahathir.
Mahathir's snipe comes following PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's remark that any political party that aspires to govern Malaysia should choose between working with PAS or Umno, as the Malay political power lies with the two parties.
Hadi said this while responding to a question on the impact Bersatu could have on Malay political power and how the party could further split Malay votes.
Mahathir however, pointed out how PAS could only win a handful of seats when it went to the polls alone.
He listed figures from polls between 1974 and 2004, to back up his points on PAS' performance.
He said that PAS managed to win 14 seats when it joined Barisan Nasional in 1974, but its performance dwindled in the subsequent three elections, after splitting from BN - winning five seats in 1978 and 1982 polls respectively, and only one seat in 1986.
The party scored its highest win with 27 seats when it was part of Barisan Alternatif with PKR and DAP in 1999, but went down to seven seats in 2004 when DAP quit the coalition, he added.
In 2008 and 2013 polls, the party won 23 and 21 seats respectively, when it was part of Pakatan Rakyat, Mahathir pointed out.
"PAS' fight as an Islamist party did not bear fruit. Its success was limited to splitting the Malays that led to less power and influence for the Malays in the country's political scene.
"Once again, PAS wants to contest (in the elections) alone. Based on PAS' record, if it contests in 80 parliamentary constituencies, it will not win more than 15 seats," predicted Mahathir.
'PAS' establishment a catastrophe'
Despite knowing it does not stand to win in such constituencies, PAS still wants to contest those seats, he said, which would only lead to three-cornered fights and subsequently, split votes and a win for BN.
"PAS, therefore, is spending money for BN and Najib's victory. It's not a stretch to say that PAS under Hadi's leadership is supporting Najib's leadership; it is true.
Aside from splitting the Malays and Muslims, PAS had even gone to the extent of "mengkafir" (branding others as unbelievers) those who don't join the party, in order to gain support, said the former PM.
Continuing his tirade against PAS, Mahathir stated that PAS' establishment was nothing but a catastrophe.
Prior to officially becoming the fourth member of Pakatan Harapan, Bersatu had initiated several attempts to forge a cooperation with PAS, in order to prevent three-cornered fights in the 14th general election.
All the attempts, however, has fallen through.- Mkini