CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Umno and PAS leaders are looking forward to a stronger and more effective alliance following Barisan Nasional’s comfortable win in the Cameron Highlands by-election.
Both Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who is performing the duties of the party president, and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang noted that there were plenty of positives in the partnership.
For Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the win underscores the rise of a “Malay Muslim wave”.
Right after the election results were announced on Saturday, a jubilant Mohamad hailed the Umno-PAS cooperation, declaring that “our wish from here onwards is to strengthen our agenda to unite the ummah of Malays and Islam. It begins here in Cameron Highlands”.
Congratulating the Barisan candidate Ramli Mohd Nor for winning the by-election with a bigger majority, Hadi said in a statement: “We see this result as a positive development towards better cooperation in the opposition bloc.”
Ramli won with 12,038 votes to the 8,800 votes polled by Pakatan Harapan’s M. Manogaran. Independent candidates Wong Seng Yee and Sallehudin Ab Talib got 276 and 314 votes respectively.
The turnout was 68.8%, with 21,428 votes tallied and 568 spoilt votes.
The 3,238-vote majority is an increase from the 597-margin secured by Barisan’s Datuk C. Sivarraajh in the 14th General Election.
Evidently, PAS’ decision to stay out of this by-election and to instruct its supporters to vote for Barisan made the higher majority possible.
In GE14, PAS’ Wan Mahadir Wan Mahamud, though he came third behind Sivarraajh and Manogaran, managed to get 3,587 votes in a five-cornered fight.
Meanwhile, Khaled said if the understanding between Umno and PAS was further cultivated and mobilised effectively, “it will give rise to a large and important Malay Muslim wave that could silence Pakatan Harapan”.
“Even more so when the Malays and bumiputra realise that the voice of the Malays in Pakatan Harapan is very small and represents the minority which is constantly ignored,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The cooperation between Umno and PAS, he added, would result in a much greater “Malay tsunami” in the next general election than the “Chinese tsunami” of the previous elections.
“The result also shows that voters are confident that Umno and PAS are the best combination to champion the Malay and bumiputra cause without denying other races.
“The Malays and bumiputras will not be influenced and choose a party like DAP which clearly rejects the concept of the special position of the Malays and bumiputra through its Malaysian Malaysia ideology,” Khaled said.
He said the win also signified that Barisan succeeded in managing the defeat it had suffered in GE14.
“The win is the first step for Barisan to come back to power.
“It proves that Umno and Barisan are not dead, broken and destroyed as claimed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said.
On Saturday night, former Barisan chairman and prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also thanked the leadership of MIC and MCA as well as their machinery for their hard work during campaigning.
“Today is a victory for all. We stand together, my friends,” he posted on Facebook.
The by-election was called after the Election Court found elements of corruption committed by Barisan and declared its win null and void.