PETALING JAYA Feb 6 : A formalised coalition comprising PPBM, Umno and PAS would be a recipe for disaster because their agendas diverge too drastically, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says.
In an interview with FMT, he said the current ties between the three were merely for “political expedience”.
“Umno and PAS have never been friendly,” he said. “PAS has condemned Umno as an infidel, kafir. So how can they work together when PAS says working with the kafir will make you a kafir?”
He said the three parties had competing ideas for the direction of the country.
“It’s not good for the country because nobody has a proper, united view of how to develop the country, how to run the country.
“It will be a disaster if these people were to form a government, because each will be pulling in its own way.”
He predicted that they would go through tough negotiations for seats to contest in GE15 and said he expected infighting if a consensus could not be reached.
“Of course, that will not be very good for them or for the country.”
He said he didn’t believe grassroots supporters would back a future union even if party leaders were able to cooperate.
“On the ground, the people themselves will not cooperate. They will not support it.”
Tensions between Umno and PPBM have already begun to show, with Umno’s cooperation with the current government apparently on tenuous grounds. Many Umno leaders are unhappy at being sidelined, pointing out that their party controls the lion’s share of parliamentary seats.
Rumblings of a potential Umno withdrawal from the government have been rife. One hundred and forty-three of Umno’s 191 divisions have passed resolutions telling the party leadership to quit working with PPBM before GE15.
PAS, which is aligned with Umno under the Muafakat Nasional banner, is caught in the middle.
PAS leaders have said their party would remain neutral in the Umno-PPBM feud. However, the Islamist party is seen to be getting cosy with PPBM, infuriating the Umno leadership.
PAS central committee member Khairuddin Aman Razali said last month that “our stand has always been consistent, that is to strengthen Muafakat Nasional to face GE15 and defend the Perikatan Nasional government.”