Did Zahid get a mandate from various UMNO levels – UMNO Supreme Council, UMNO MPs and State Assembly representatives, UMNO Divisions, UMNO Youth, UMNO Wanita and UMNO Puteri and the UMNO General Assembly – as well as from other Barisan Nasional parties for the proposal of a merger between UMNO and PAS?
UMNO President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must be credited with making the most astounding announcement in the six months after Malaysians created history toppling the sixth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the six-decade rule of UMNO/BN Government in a peaceful and democratic transition of power.
This is his proposal at the joint UMNO-PAS rally in Pasir Salak last night openly calling for a PAS-UMNO merger “in the name of Islam, Malays, Malaysia and bumiputera".
Two months ago, Zahid assured Malaysians that the co-operation between UMNO and PAS was not leading towards the formation of a new coalition but was a co-operation between two parties to strengthen their roles in the opposition camp.
There is now a quantum jump in Zahid’s political thinking where an informal co-operation for Opposition’s sake had been skyrocketed into a merger between the two parties.
But two questions need to be clarified first:
First, did Zahid get a mandate from various UMNO levels – UMNO Supreme Council, UMNO MPs and State Assembly representatives, UMNO Divisions, UMNO Youth, UMNO Wanita and UMNO Puiteri and the UMNO General Assembly – as well as from other Barisan Nasional parties like MCA and MIC for the proposal of a merger between UMNO and PAS?
Or did Zahid unilaterally and without extensive discussion with other UMNO and BN leaders made the proposal for a merger between UMNO and PAS last night?
Secondly, is PAS reciprocating to the UMNO overture for a merger between UMNO and PAS.
At the joint UMNO-PAS rally, the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, who spoke after Zahid, made no mention of Zahid’s merger proposal.
It would appear that Zahid has lost confidence in his ability to lead UMNO to regain power, although in the initial period, UMNO leaders had believed that the four-party Pakatan Harapan coalition would implode and disintegrate within two years of forming government.
Now, even UMNO leaders are wondering whether they could regain in the 15th General Election before May 2013 and they must be prepared for a longer stint in the political wilderness!
Hence the desperate cry to PAS to help to keep UMNO alive made by Zahid yesterday.
UMNO won 54 parliamentary seats in the 14th General Election while PAS won 18 parliamentary seats.
Zahid’s proposal is extraordinary, for in the normal course of events, any proposal for a merger would come from the smaller party, but here the bigger party UMNO is suggesting to a smaller party for a merger!
Although the number of UMNO parliamentary seats have been reduced from 54 to 48 seats, Zahid has clearly lost confidence in his ability to restore government power to UMNO unless he made the overture of a merger between UMNO and PAS.
It is most unfortunate that in the foreseeable future, the country is going to be trapped in the toxic politics of fear and hatred, based on irrational and baseless politics of race and religion, seeking to polarize and divide Malaysians along racial and religious differences, instead of an overarching, unifying and inclusive politics to seek the betterment of lives of all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
But I believe that the merchants of fear and hate, who exploit the irresponsible politics of race and religion, are fighting a losing battle for the majority of Malaysians in an age of information would want a New Malaysia which promotes the welfare of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion to succeed and for Malaysia to take her rightful place as a successful, united, just, democratic, ethical; progressive and prosperous nation in the international arena.