The charter was signed by Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his PAS counterpart Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the culmination of the two-day Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah held at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here yesterday.
The PWTC, traditionally used for Umno general assemblies, saw for the first time PAS supporters filling up the halls, alongside their Umno brethren, in the spirit of unity and Muslim fellowship.
The charter, which is meant to signal a new “national unity” (muafakat nasional), touches on upholding and defending the Federal Constitution, strengthening national unity between all races and religions in Malaysia, empowering the Muslim and bumiputra agendas and collectively working towards a country that champions inclusive growth and integrity.
The charter also agrees to form a cooperation by expanding the narrative of Islam and the Malay race without sidelining the multiracial and multicultural make-up of the country, which is central to political stability and general harmony.
The last time Umno and PAS cooperated was during the 1974 general election, when PAS candidates contested under the Barisan Nasional banner.
Umno’s signing of a political pact with PAS could potentially give the country’s largest Malay party a boost, following its loss of the Federal Government after the 14th General Election last year.
Pakatan Harapan leaders have criticised the pact as championing Malay-centric interests and accused the cooperation of sidelining other races.
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