Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Umno-PAS unity talks - a step nearer?

It's the strongest response ever - PM Najib has described the call by PAS for unity talks between Umno and PAS as "sincere" and that the government was open to such talks. His key words were "willing" and "open" and that Umno was prepared to consider any proposal from PAS raised by the Islamist party.

Deputy PAS president Nashruddin Mat Isa, who is a big supporter of such talks, has responded positively to Najib's statement, but as a safety net, said the party would not be a stooge of Umno. This is probably to appease PAS members who are against the proposal.

But today's development is significant as it could set the stage for a new political landscape if the two biggest parties decide to sit down and work in common areas. Premature as it may seem, it could also be the beginning of something bigger now that the top guns have sent the right signals.

Even PKR has reacted cautiously to the proposal for unity talks by saying it would not object to such talks. The party is obviously aware that the sentiments of the Malay electorate, the largest core of voters, which want the two parties to work together. To object to such talks would be going against the sentiments of a large section of the community, particularly the Malay heartland. These two parties cannot afford to ignore the Malay-Islam agenda.

It is obvious that PAS is not comfortable with PKR leading the Pakatan Rakyat charge, with PAS leaders believing that they should be the one calling the shots. Hadi Awang is seen to be uncomfortable that the Islamic cause has been compromised by PKR and that DAP seems to be steering the course of the coalition.

It is no secret that while there were sympathies for the events leading to the collapse of the Pakatan-led Perak government and what had taken place at the Perak state assembly, there is also a great deal of quiet dissatisfaction over the aggressive nature of some PR elected representatives.

Then there is the question of Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy trial that would be coming up next month. There is some sense of nervousness as to what would crop up during the trial, even as the charges are being considered as a political frame-up.

But how the unity talks would take place is another thing. It could be open or just informal chats, away from the glare of the media and those against the idea. Or for that matter, if it takes place at all. Nik Aziz and his supporters would throw in everything to stop the talks and within the BN, there is also a need for Umno to explain to the other component parties what it is all about. Nash also said today that he would be meeting PR leaders to explain. In short - plenty to explain on both sides.

Interestingly, Anwar has quickly come out to diffuse the situation by saying that Hadi is committed to PR and will fully explain his views on the unity talks next Monday, the Star SMS Alert reported.

It would be easier, however, if PAS and Umno would agree that these meetings would simply be termed unity talks, instead of Malay or Muslim. A technical committee, comprising secretaries-general of PAS and Umno, could be set up to explore ideas and the logistics.


Donplaypuks® said...

PAS is a breakaway party from UMNO.

So, any marriage between them would be, er, incest, wouldn't it? Lol.

Anonymous said...

Pas is a goner if they bear hug umno.Dap & PKR shd merge into one to become a formidable front. R you going to print this knowing your inclination?

Anonymous said...

Obviously the proposed talks are a continuation of the stalled so-called Malay unity talks proposed by a Malay academic during last few years of Mahathir's tenure as PM. Nasharudin now one of the key proponents of the unity talks, was the PAS sec-gen and Hadi's emissary liaising with Khalil Yaakob, then UMNO sec-gen. Nasharudin and Khalil could not even agree on setting up technical committee to usher in the said talks, presumably between Mahathir and Hadi. It soon died a natural death. Given the deep mutual distrust between UMNO and PAS, these so-called unity talks will never get off the ground let alone succeed. For the simple reason that each side wants to use the other for propaganda purposes. Now with Manek Urai by-election round the corner, UMNO and PAS are going to attack each other even more, so where will the talks go? Rightly Husam Musa has mocked UMNO, calling on them to skip the by-election if they are interested in unity. You think UMNO will agree to his suggestion? UMNO in fact wants to split PAS between Nik Aziz and Hadi's groups, then wean PAS away from Pakatan Rakyat. Already nasharudin and hadi are trapped by UMNO openly calling on them to have not only unity but actually coaltion govt. So all this so-called unity talks nothing but just gimmick and propaganda on part of Hadi/nasharudin and Najib/Muhyiddin to score points at each others' expense. In fact UMNO and PAS will end up being bitter with each other even more.

wandererAUS said...

Don't place your hope too high, Wong...it will not happen!
You cannot mix pure water with crude oil......

Anonymous said...

There will be no unity talk,
false hope Wong coz Hadi
had chicken out.

Anonymous said...

Don't bet on a big PAS marriage with UMNO. If Hadi and Nas wants to marry UMNO, they will find a big split in PAS, and only a signficantly reduced PAS can go to bed with UMNO. Remember that Nas got less than 50% of the votes, with the over 50% going to Husam and Sabu combined.

ChengHo said...

Do it for the country NOT for skin color...

malayamuda said...

i hope PAS will have these unity talk with UMNO.

We have to bring racists and religious fanatics down, the faster the better, and it will be easier if they are together and not mask behing secular parties like MCA, MIC, PKR and DAP