KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has claimed today that it is “God’s will” that his party has now allied itself with two other Malay-dominant parties, Umno and PAS — both previously its political enemies.
In his policy speech for the third Bersatu Annual General Meeting peppered with verses of Quran and Arabic phrases, Muhyiddin who is also Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman, said divine will has caused the three parties to band together for the sake of the Malay-Muslim community’s unity.
“This is a test from Allah to us. I believe that there is underlying wisdom in this test that brings together Umno, Bersatu and PAS in one ‘saf’,” he said, using the Arabic term that refers to line or alignment, but usually to describe rows of Muslims united in congregational prayers.
“This cooperation will unite the Malay Muslim in our country who has been divided politically for so long.
“We need to see the bigger ‘maslahah’, the larger good. Wouldn’t it be good that all Malay-Muslim leaders can come together in a larger, stronger ‘jamaah’ than divided into weaker ‘kabilah’?” he asked.
“Maslahah” is an Arabic term referring to “benefits”, “jamaah” is “congregation”, and “kabilah” is “tribe”.
“If we did not, then the Malay unity will remain an elusive dream that would never materialise in our lifetime,” he said in his speech at the AGM, which was held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muhyiddin also promised that PN will fight to return “moderate” Sunni Muslim teachings, which form the basis of the brand of Islam solely recognised by Putrajaya, and to “fight secularism and liberalism”.
He said that today, the government faces new challenges against the Shariah code governing Islam, which he claimed included secularism and liberalism.
“The thoughts came in the guise of scholarly discourse somewhat deviant in the true teachings of Islam.
“We must hold fast to the faith of Muslims using the approach based on knowledge and wisdom,” he said.
Muhyiddin also revealed that he had held a meeting with Umno president and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and agreed that there are discrepancies within their partnership that need to be fixed, following open criticisms against PN from several Umno MPs.
“We spoke from heart to heart. We spoke frankly. We realised the relationship between Umno and Bersatu has to be mended. There needs to be efforts. There needs to be a push from the top leaders to the grassroots.
“It is not easy, but this is the best way forward,” he said, insisting that Bersatu must not stand alone and join a three-way fight with Umno and PAS in the next general election.
In line with that, Muhyiddin also suggested that a Presidential Council be established consisting of party leaders in the PN, BN, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.
“This is important because not all party leaders are in the Cabinet, therefore through this meeting, party leaders can channel their views to be considered in the implementation of policies,” he said.