KUALA LUMPUR: Two of Malaysia’s biggest political parties, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), announced on Tuesday (Mar 5) their formal political ties, but denied they had formed a coalition.
UMNO’s deputy president Mohamad Hasan said the two parties were now “married” and will work together without any conditions, it was reported.
The announcement was made after a three-hour meeting between leaders of both parties at the UMNO headquarters in Putra World Trade Centre.
Mr Mohamad said UMNO and PAS will find a way to work together in the future.
“We 'exchanged rings' in Sungai Kandis, were 'engaged' in Seri Setia and then we decided we wanted to get 'married' - this is the official ceremony. And now we are sitting on the dais," Mr Mohamad was reported as saying to local media.
Both parties will not be forming a coalition, he added, but there would be a main committee and an opposition caucus in Parliament.
“UMNO and PAS will take the outcome of the discussion today to their partner parties,” he said.
“This collaboration will also not sideline the Malaysian community which is made up of people of different races, religions and culture.”
Mr Mohamad had lost his seat in Rantau after Malaysia’s Federal Court upheld its ruling last month. A by-election for the seat is expected soon, with the UMNO man insisting he would throw his hat in the ring again.
Mr Mohamad, who is discharging his duties as UMNO’s president, said the leaders also discussed setting up a technical working committee to finalise its collaboration including working on future by-elections.
NO EFFECT ON PH, PKR
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim said he is confident that the collaboration between UMNO and PAS will not have any effect on PKR and Pakatan Harapan (PH).
He said not all Malays were members of PAS and UMNO, and while PKR also had members who were Malays, there were others who were not part of any party.
He added that PH will continue to fight for the same issues as UMNO and PAS, ensuring the rights and privileges of Malays and Islam, as embedded in the constitution, while protecting the rights of the other races.