KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — The heavy floods in Kelantan should spur the state government, led by PAS to unite with its Malay brethren in Umno to curb the rise of Chinese political power, according to former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad.
In a letter penned to Utusan Malaysia, Abdul Hamid said PAS should emulate Acheh’s move to co-operate with Jakarta after the northern Sumatran province — which was fighting for an independent Islamic state — was hit by a tsunami in 2006, resulting in the death of close to one million people.
“Ten years ago Acheh was hit by tsunami that resulted in thousands of deaths. Now Kelantan is hit by floods... due to the tsunami Acheh and the Indonesian government agreed to co-exist. “What about the Malaysian and Kelantan governments? Isn’t there a lesson to be learnt from Acheh? Haven’t the disaster taught them to repent and start prioritising something bigger like religion and race instead of party interests?” he said.
Abdul Hamid said the PAS-Umno rivalry split the Malays and gave minorities, especially the Chinese, the chance to exploit the situation.
“In essence, because of Malay division, the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, are consolidating their political power”.
Talks of a PAS-Umno unity government have surfaced after Kelantan, along with seven other states, was hit by severe floods last week — killing 27 people and wreaking damages estimated at around RM1 billion.
Some from Umno, suggested that that a unity government in Kelantan between PAS and Umno would aid reconstruction.
The former chief justice claimed Umno has been forthcoming in wanting to forge the co-operation despite the reluctance from PAS.
He noted that PAS appeared unwilling because of two reasons — first, because it had been betrayed by Umno before when it joined the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition more than two decades ago and second, because PAS is now controlled by “the professionals” rather than the ulama class.
Abdul Hamid argued PAS should now look past what had transpired before for the sake of Islam and the Malays.
“Does PAS not want to think about Islam and the Malays which form the core principles of both parties? Is it just because of anger towards Umno, PAS no longer cares about the Malays and Islam?” he wrote.
Unity between the two sides are also likely prevented by sections of PAS allied with DAP which is pro-communist and pro-christian, he said.
“There are the non-ulama faction in PAS now. This faction idolises communists, support the Catholic church in the Allah issue and appeared to be more keen on supporting on any DAP agenda just to get votes and become MPs or state assemblymen,” he said.
He called on PAS to repent as it had deviated from its original struggle.
While some in PAS have rejected the idea of unity with Umno, the Kelantan government remains silent over the possibility. Some believe the silence may indicate the idea is being considered,
Kelantan was the first state to be hit by what has been dubbed as “Malaysia’s tsunami”, followed by Terengganu, Pahang, and later, Perak and Johor.
Over 240,674 people were evacuated from their homes in Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Johor, Perlis, Selangor and Kedah. Close to half have since returned as floodwaters have receded in most areas.
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