PAS’ latest stunt shows, once again, how the party contradicts itself, said political analysts.
On one hand, it claims to support Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but it also wants to be in a political pact with Umno, the nemesis of the prime minister’s ruling alliance Pakatan Harapan.
Analysts told The Malaysian Insight this latest move to table of a motion of confidence for Dr Mahathir is yet another stunt that only serves PAS’ political survival.
This is to drive a wedge between Dr Mahathir and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, to whom he has promised to hand over power later this year.
Political scientist Dr Mazlan Ali said PAS wants to pit PH parties against each other so their infighting will weaken them by the 15th general election.
“If they can convince Dr Mahathir to stay on beyond two years, then it will split PH apart. They don’t want Anwar to take over because it is possible that the PKR president can revive support for the coalition.
“PAS wants PH to be weak because it benefits opposition parties such as itself,” said Mazlan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
“If PAS really supports Dr Mahathir, why did it campaign against PH in all the previous by-elections?”
PAS has formed an opposition pact, muafakat nasional, together with members of the old Barisan Nasional regime, Umno, MCA and MIC.
The ultra-conservative Islamist party has campaigned against the ruling coalition, which Dr Mahathir leads, and opposes much of its signature policies.
Yet in a surprise move on Saturday, it said it will table a “motion of confidence” in the next parliamentary sitting to support Dr Mahathir as prime minister.
The motion calls for Dr Mahathir to serve his five-year term, instead of relinquishing power to Anwar.
PKR, together with Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu, DAP and Amanah make up PH.
Prior to the 14th general election, all four parties agreed that if they won, Dr Mahathir would be the prime minister and hand over power to Anwar after the second year in office.
Dr Mahathir has repeatedly said he will fulfil that promise, despite calls from certain sections of his own party to stay on.
Self-contradiction as policy
Political scientist Tunku Mohar Tunku Mokhtar said it’s not up to PAS to decide who gets to become prime minister, because it was something for the ruling parties to decide.
“It is for people in the PH coalition to decide who will be PM,” said Mohar of the International Islamic University.
“They are trying to muddy the waters in PH because they know that there is a faction that wants Dr Mahathir to stay on.”
Prof James Chin of the University of Tasmania said PAS is attempting to form a new government by making this move.
“(PAS president) Abdul Hadi Awang is obsessed with kicking DAP and Anwar out from the government and has been trying to set up a Muslim-only or ‘Islam-first’ government.”
Hadi has publicly said he is interested in forming a Muslim-dominated government consisting of PAS, Umno and Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu.
This is despite the fact that PAS is already in a pact with Umno.
Contradictory political positions have been a constant feature of the current PAS leadership under Hadi, said Chin.
Before the intended parliamentary motion, PAS once said it would accept non-Muslims as Malaysian citizens, he said.
“Other times they say Muslims are first and non-Muslims are second-class citizens. In their mind, there is no contradiction because they use the concept of dhimmi to approach the issue of non-Muslims,” said Chin, referring to a term for non-Muslims used by medieval Muslim empires.
PAS sees Anwar as a threat because the Port Dickson MP leads a multiracial party that rejects PAS’ brand of religious or racial nationalism.
“The bottom line is that PAS sees PH as a ‘non-halal’ government that they must overthrow and replace with a ‘halal’ government, where all key positions must be held by Muslims.
“At the end of the day, PAS under Hadi Awang is racist towards non-Malays and non-Muslims.” – TMI