Before the 505 General Election, I predicted that UMNO would supports Hudud Bill in Kelantan State Assembly. In a state where non-Muslim constitute less than 5% of population, UMNO leadership hope that this will be fulfilling duty as a Muslim leader at the same time curry-favor PAS in Kelantan. This is obvious when we can observe PAS leadership in Kelantan especially Mentri Besar became UMNO friendly after this episode.
During 505 General Election, it is obvious that:
- Chinese rejected UMNO and BN
- A noticeable increase of Chinese support for PAS. To UMNO leadership it can be construed that the Chinese do not fear of the policies of PAS Islamisation.
Hence, they have been overtures by PAS to UMNO similarly by UMNO to PAS that they should work together for the unity of Ummah and the greater good of Muslim Ummah.
The majority of PAS Member of Parliament (MP) abstains when PR initiated the rejection of 2016 budget in Parliament. In the recently concluded UMNO General Assembly, Prime Minister Najib has openly invited PAS to work with UMNO.
The UMNO-PAS cooperation could:
- Alter the electoral result for p and state seat in peninsular Malaysia
- Represent a difficult challenge to the non-Muslim component parties of BN
- Alter the economic and social landscape of Malaysia
- A more pronounced Muslim dominance of the Malaysia political arena especially in Peninsular Malaysia. The non Muslim component parties of BN will be left in the fringes of the corridor of power, both at state and central government
Under the BN constitution, for PAS to join BN it needs the unanimous support of all the 13 component parties. Pas is unlikely to secure this unanimous decision. Hence, any cooperation within PAS and UMNO will be likely on a basis of UMNO through BN with both achieving consensus in sharing a State and Parliamentary constituencies and the sharing of the power after the General Election. This will be the Achilles heel in UMNO-PAS cooperation. If they can resolve the devil in the details of issues pertaining to seat and power sharing, this cooperation can assured them of success in predominantly Malay dominant constituencies.
We can predict that UMNO and PAS can form a State Government in Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. These five states contribute 54 Parliamentary Seats. In other state in peninsular Malaysia like Perak, Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca, non-Muslim parties need to win a few more seats in order for UMNO and PAS to form the Federal Government and State Government.
UMNO will not support the implementation of PAS Hudud in Parliament because it will shake the foundation of BN cooperation especially those from Sabah and Sarawak. Umno cannot ignore the wishes of Sabah and Sarawak BN component parties if they want to remain in Federal Government. However, one can predict that UMNO-PAS cooperation will usher in more Islamisation in Peninsular Malaysia. Presently, some UMNO leader has become more PAS than PAS for the matter pertaining to Islamic value.
Najib is unlikely to scarify his vision of high-income nation by 2020 for supporting the implementation of Pas Hudud. Najib wants to leave behind a political legacy of transforming Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.
Politically, DAP has kicked off PAS from Pakatan Rakyat. This enabled DAP to challenge the non-Muslim component parties in BN that they should do the same when UMNO works with PAS. UMNO and PAS cooperation will have long standing implication to the non-Muslim political power sharing in this country. However, this is a separate topic to be pondered upon but I will not touch on this as yet.