Muafakat Nasional can be restored if Zahid is not UMNO president, says Sanusi

A PAS leader said the Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact between his party and UMNO would still be alive had the latter party been helmed by someone other than Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

PAS election director Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor told Utusan Malaysia PAS still welcomed any cooperation with the Malay nationalist party under the MN banner as they were fellow Muslims and that the essence of ummah unity involved all Muslim Malays including the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak.

“The matter was clearly stated in the MN charter previously, but when UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had returned to helm UMNO from then president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, he had wanted a collaboration only between PAS and UMNO and did not want to work with Bersatu or any other partie,” Sanusi said when contacted by the Malay news portal.

“Zahid had the understanding of the concept all wrong when it was clearly stated that the ummah unity involves all Muslim Malays as well as the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak.”

Mohamad was acting UMNO president for six-months from Dec 2018 to June 2019 when Zahid was pressured to take garden leave from official party duties to face corruption charges.

“So, the one that split PAS and caused the collapse of MN was not PAS but the UMNO president himself. This is despite them not being happy working with DAP. I believe that MN can be formed again if Zahid was no longer the UMNO president,” Sanusi added.

In a separate Utusan Malaysia report, PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Hashim Jasin had warned that UMNO would fall into obscurity in the next general election due in 2027 if the party continued to work with DAP.

He claimed the majority of Malays and the Malay nationalist party’s grassroots were unhappy with the party’s coalition with DAP and blamed Zahid for the discontent.

“Votes for PAS have increased and they’re coming from UMNO supporters who are protesting the party’s association with DAP. It’s impossible for them not to realise this at this point,” Hashim was reported as saying, citing UMNO’s overwhelming loss in the recent Kemaman by-election in Terengganu.

“We never declared UMNO as an enemy but if it continues on this path they will be buried after the 16th general election (GE16).”

Zahid had long been grappling with internal criticism over UMNO’s decision to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its component party DAP to form the federal government together with two other political powerhouses in Sabah and Sarawak following the events of GE15, which had resulted in a hung Parliament.

The MN pact for Muslim political cooperation was signed between UMNO and PAS in Sept 2019 after losing to the PH coalition in the general election of 2018.

That partnership broke up a few years later with UMNO leaders accusing PAS leaders of deception when the latter party teamed up with Bersatu, an offshoot of UMNO which Zahid had refused to work with. – Dec 8, 2023

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