The signing of the Malay Proclamation by several leaders from Pas was an effort to gather all factions against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Analysts said the proclamation, which is the brainchild of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was likely intended to topple Anwar and his unity government.
Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said it was curious that Dr Mahathir, who has been an ardent critic of Pas, would resort to such tactics.
“It would appear that Dr Mahathir and the Islamist party have decided to join forces in their effort to topple Anwar. It could perhaps be explained by his animosity towards Anwar, which is greater than his abhorrence of Pas.
“Pas, as a religious party, has also conveniently taken on a racialist mantle by signing such a curious proclamation,” he told the New Straits Times.
Yesterday, a political aide to Dr Mahathir, Abu Bakar Yahya posted several photos of Pas leaders, including party president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, signing the document.
Abu Bakar wrote: “Led by Hadi, several Pas leaders have signed the document to support the Malay Proclamation in Dr Mahathir’s presence.”
The ‘Proklamasi Orang Melayu’ Facebook page said in a post that several Pas leaders attended the meeting on Tuesday night, including vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan and Bachok member of parliament Mohd Syahir Che Sulaiman.
A post of the Facebook page said the proclamation aimed to unite and save the Malays.
Professor James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute, said the signing of the proclamation was a signal that all anti-Anwar forces were coming together under Dr Mahathir.
“They are using Dr Mahathir’s name, now that he joined them through the proclamation. It looks like Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Umno versus everyone else who is against Umno and Anwar in particular.
“I think a lot of people understand that Dr Mahathir is looking for a political platform after his previous platform; Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), crashed in the last general election, with the former premier even losing his deposit.”
Chin said Dr Mahathir had never agreed to Anwar being prime minister and the matter has been going on for many decades.
“(And) now that Anwar is prime minister, he is leading the charge to pull him down. This personal conflict with Anwar is like a forever thing,” he said.
Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Institution of Malay Rulers Chair fellow, Mujibu Abdul Muis said the signing was one of the efforts to amplify the “green wave”.
“With the wave still there and the Malay voters’ mixed sentiments toward the unity government, the signing of the proclamation may benefit PN in retaining Malay states and wresting Malay seats in Negri Sembilan, Penang and Selangor.
“With Dr Mahathir, it gives an extra boost and continuity to PN’s green wave in the coming state polls,” he said, adding that the former Langkawi member of parliament also needed a good platform.
Mujibu, however, said the signing of the proclamation seemed to be unsanctioned by PN, since no Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leaders were involved.
“I believe that PN needs to do this (to sign the proclamation) as well, to strengthen and balance their narrative for the state polls, with the expectation that PH-Barisan Nasional still stands a chance to give them a good fight, especially in the straight fight seats.”
Hadi in a Facebook post today, justified his working with Dr Mahathir by saying that there were similarities in their struggle.
“Even if he had wronged Pas, there are many points of similarities that must be taken into account for the sake of unity and to fulfil the obligations of religion and nation.
“Among what was discussed include the importance of the Malay Muslims, who are the majority in this plural society.” – NST