Malay proclamation signing: Political parties leveraging issues to gain support, say analysts

KLANG: The recent event where several PAS leaders appeared to have reconciled with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by signing his Malay proclamation is reflective of change in the nature of Malaysian politics, say analysts.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Institute of Ethnic Studies founding director Prof Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin said Malaysian politics have shifted from coalition-based politics of the past, to the current strategic group-based politics.

"It is no longer based on ideology, religion or even race. It is now all about what they (the players) could gain strategically by levering on the issues that were currently on top," said Shamsul Amri.

He said all political parties in the country were pushing and pursuing their own strategies and interests of the leadership, most of the time, as opposed to the interests of the party in entirety.

"So, there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics," he said.

PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, was accompanied by several other party leaders, including the Islamist party’s secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan, during the signing.

By signing the proclamation, PAS seems to have mended ties with Dr Mahathir after ditching him for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in 2020, which eventually led to the formation of Perikatan Nasional.

Terengganu-based political commentator Dr Azmi Omar said it showed those who signed the Malay proclamation were going for a “common enemy” upon realising that the best weapon was uniting the Malays.

"Perikatan, especially with the green wave, is pursuing Malay votes and Dr Mahathir is seeing that as an opportunity to get support."

He added Dr Mahathir must have observed how Perikatan was favoured by the Malays in the last general election and saw it as a catalyst to strengthen Pejuang’s positioning.

Abdul Hadi had said in a statement on his Facebook Timeline that there was a need to unite for the sake of achieving Malay political dominance.

He said that PAS and Dr Mahathir had many similarities and also called on Malay political parties to unite to stand against political control by minority groups.

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