KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday (Mar 6) that the Pakatan Harapan coalition was “not shaken” by the alliance between the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).
In a blog post, Mahathir said the PAS-UMNO alliance shows how both parties have found it necessary to lie for political gain.
It appears that both parties are attempting to return former prime minister Najib Razak to power, said Mahathir, even if this means taking a permissive attitude towards the crimes allegedly committed by him.
"Has PAS already considered Najib who is facing charges of corruption and abuse of power as innocent?" Mahathir said.
"Are corruption, abuse of power and crime permissible in the name of the unity of Malays and Islam? Is this a mandatory lie?"
Najib has been hit with multiple charges linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
READ: Malaysia's ex-PM Najib gears up for graft trial with charm offensive
In his blog post, Mahathir noted that Najib has not been found guilty because the trial against him has yet to be held. “Will Najib be accepted as a PAS leader if he is found guilty," he asked.
"Don’t they (PAS leaders) realise that many UMNO members have left UMNO because it has become a kleptocracy and not a democracy?”
The prime minister also noted that PAS was actually formed in the 1950s by Muslim clerics who left UMNO. In fact, PAS had declared UMNO an “infidel party”, he recounted.
A day earlier, PAS and UMNO announced 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.
PAS-UMNO ALLIANCE WOULD LEAD TO FRACTURE WITHIN PAS: AMANAH LEADER
On Wednesday, Amanah’s deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said the PAS-UMNO alliance would lead to a fracture within PAS, with many grassroots members unable to reconcile the Islamist party cooperating with its former nemesis.
“I’m waiting for them to break apart. Those who truly hold on to the PAS ideology and understand the party’s history and how it was established will not be able to accept (this alliance)," Salahuddin was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail.
Amanah is a splinter party from PAS.
Meanwhile, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s vice-president Azmin Ali said the UMNO-PAS alliance would not work as UMNO has done a lot of damage to Malaysia, especially in corruption.
“This (UMNO-PAS alliance) is a political strategy but, believe me, the people decided to reject UMNO in the last general election," said Azmin, who is also the economic affairs minister.
“How can a party rejected by the people forge an alliance with PAS? However, the choice is theirs."