KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — DAP’s combative style and purported fixation with championing the Chinese community is the glue that binds former rivals PAS and Umno, Tan Sri Annuar Musa has asserted amid the Islamist party’s shifting allegiance.
In a recent interview with Malay Mail, the Umno secretary-general admitted his party has had differences with the Islamists, but said these were negligible compared to the ideological clashes between former Pakatan Rakyat allies PAS and DAP.
Annuar said PAS should have no issue working with Umno when it had been able to stomach DAP for over five years in the now-defunct pact, and given that both Opposition parties are Malay-Muslim oriented.
Both parties’ rejection of DAP also surpassed any objections they have with each other, he added.
“It’s because of DAP, DAP’s style of politics. I read somewhere on Facebook that ‘DAP is the glue that puts Umno and PAS together’.
“When I saw it, I pondered the statement. There is some truth in it, you know. Of course, DAP will never accept it,” Annuar told Malay Mail.
Annuar had made his assurance prior to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s announcement that the party will back Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister until the next general election.
PAS has since said it supports Dr Mahathir, with the prime minister seemingly “alone” when it comes to Malay-Muslim interests when faced against PKR and DAP, and it will still support Umno in the Semenyih by-election.
On what specifically about DAP so upset the two Opposition parties, Annuar said it was the apparent hypocrisy in attacking communal politics while indulging in it; despite DAP’s claim of multiracialism, he said its support and membership were undeniably Chinese dominated.
Annuar cited DAP’s near-monopoly of the Chinese vote now, which he said the party had steadily been amassing since 1966.
Saying DAP has been enjoying the best of both worlds, he said it was simultaneously employing communal politics to hobble MCA while attacking the same practice to target Umno.
“‘MCA is too subservient to Umno,’ ‘MCA is ineffective,’ ‘MCA is not fighting for the Chinese,’ and so on and so forth.
“Then, they also made a lot of promises to give a better deal for the Chinese community. So for me, that is already racial politics deployed by DAP,” Annuar said, adding the “strategy was very clear” and that was how DAP controlled the urban seats.
With Umno claiming to represent the Malays, however, Annuar said this made the community feel threatened vicariously, causing their current unification behind PAS and Umno.
Umno’s allegation that DAP was dividing the Malay vote by supporting and pitting various Malay-based parties together was also gaining credence, he said when repeating the claim that DAP backed the establishment of Parti Amanah Negara in a desire to gut PAS from within.
“Everyone knows Amanah is co-sponsored by DAP,” he claimed, but did not provide proof to back the allegation.
With communal politics poised for a worrying return, Annuar insisted that DAP must be held responsible for this.
After the initial belief that the 14th general election would usher in a more tolerant Malaysia, racism and communal politics featured prominently in last month’s Cameron Highlands by-election. Barisan Nasional won the seat with the help of PAS.
And despite PAS and Umno now cooperating to ostensibly defend Malays and Muslims, Annuar claimed the community was under serious threat as DAP has “smartly” corralled the support of prominent personalities such as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He urged the Chinese community to realise the harm to Malaysia’s communal relations if the Malay majority begin to feel aggrieved by DAP’s style of politics.
“In the short term, it’s okay, but in the long run, it is a disservice to the Chinese community or any minority community; because once you do that, when the majority feel threatened, naturally they will have to regain lost ground. So they have to band together.
“Then the polarisation stars, then the divide. That is not what we want for Malaysia.”