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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HADI WOULD FALL WITHOUT NAJIB'S SUPPORT! Pas gain from Umno’s fall?

HADI WOULD FALL WITHOUT NAJIB'S SUPPORT! Pas gain from Umno’s fall?
Malaysians have been looking on intently as the battle between Mahathir and Najib slowly comes to a boiling point. The unpopular Prime Minister could be on his way out very soon, but if he chooses to tough it out and stay, the party will be fractured, with two factions battling it out for dominance. This is the worst-case scenario for Umno as the man on the street will likely become disenchanted with the party.
Even within Umno itself, dissent against Najib is getting stronger. We’re hearing whispers that there’s a faction within Umno Youth that is opposed to the Prime Minister. Certainly, he has proved himself out of touch with the grassroots of the party and the man on the street, and with no end to the conflict in sight, one could say it is imperative that the Malay community find a new party to champion them.
And that’s where PAS comes into the picture.
PAS is the second largest Malay party in Malaysia, and in the event of Umno becoming embroiled in its own internal conflict, PAS will step in to fill the void. The Islamist party has proven effective at communicating with heartland communities, and it has a strong network in place throughout the country, ready to seize the moment and crown itself the new champion of Malay Muslims.
The traditional values of PAS are also more likely to be appealing to the community, especially the large section that resides in the more rural areas of the country. Some may argue that PKR could come out on top, but the cosmopolitan party is not seen as a party that resounds with the values of the heartland, where the politics of race and religion reign supreme over more modern issues like human rights and equality.
Factor in PAS’ recent victory in passing amendments to shariah laws that basically amount to the implementation of hudud in Kelantan, and you have a party that more than lives up to its credentials as an Islamist party. Umno and PAS have both played the “defender of the faith” role in the past, but it is PAS that has dared to challenge the status quo and braved the protests of its coalition partners to implement the controversial criminal justice system.
We also must consider that of all three parties in Pakatan, PAS’ machinery among the grassroots is perhaps the best established, and getting its message to smaller villages and towns will not be a problem.
Of course, this is only one possible outcome of the conflict in Umno. However, it is not impossible that PAS will jump at the opportunity to capture former Umno voters and steal the ground beneath the party even as it thrashes under the throes of the battle between Mahathir and Najib. PAS president Hadi Awang, for all his faults, is a shrewd political operator, and will not hesitate to outmanoeuvre Umno in the same way he did PAS’ coalition partners.
In Umno’s fall, PAS will likely emerge as the winner, like a vulture swooping in to feast on the carrion left over from the battle. The party has shown no qualms in using whatever methods are at its disposal to achieve its desired end, and we must assume history will repeat itself here. - FMT

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