KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — The signing of the Umno-PAS National Consensus Charter yesterday received a mixed reaction, including from those who are sceptical of the ‘taawun-siyasi’ or political collaboration between the two parties.
One main question is how far the collaboration truly achieved its goals of unifying the Muslim community without it being based merely on political interests and agenda.
Both Umno and PAS leadership’s assertion that the collaboration would not marginalize other races also caused bewilderment and doubt, which led many to adopt a wait-and-see approach before assessing the outcome of the collaboration.
Cheras Batu 11 MCA chief Tan Chee Teong said it was too early to see the direction of the collaboration, which he believed was aimed to secure more votes.
“In my personal opinion, I think the collaboration is more like a memorandum. It’s too early to see whether it is just an empty promise or a promise that they can really keep.
“However, I think it’s a good starting point. It’s also in line with MCA’s principles to fight for multiculturalism and to develop Malaysia based on the principle of racial unity and understanding,” he told Bernama here.
Tan also opined that there was no clear direction of the collaboration, but hoped that Umno and PAS would elaborate on the objectives as a guideline to other component parties rather than leaving it to be a mere political rhetoric.
“The people in the country are sick and tired of leaders who craze for power and have a hidden agenda. That’s why they avoid listening to all those political promises. They want a clear policy that will really benefit the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wanita MIC executive committee member Datuk Mohana Muniandy said she would just wait and see the outcome of the Umno-PAS collaboration.
“We don’t know how it will reach to the grassroots, but we will wait and see,” she said.
The charter was inked by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
The charter, which is a Code of Conduct on how both parties should move towards the next general election, among others, emphasised on strengthening National Consensus through deliberative practices involving various religious, racial and cultural backgrounds for the benefit of the nation. — Bernama