KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Political analysts predict that PAS’ alliance with Umno under the Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact will reach its finality in Johor after the state polls.
Universiti Malaysia associate professor Awang Azman Awang Pawi said the pact’s very existence was thrown into doubt the moment Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and PAS announced that they were cooperating for the Johor state polls without Umno.
“This is just like in the Melaka state election, where Bersatu and PAS worked together, leaving out Umno.
“In fact, MN began to lose direction when PAS decided long before to sign a formal understanding with Bersatu under Perikatan Nasional (PN).
“This was actually the beginning of the collapse of MN that was initiated by Umno and PAS when Pakatan Harapan (PH) was in power,” Awang Azman told Malay Mail.
He said the non-cooperation between PAS and Umno in the Melaka state polls, and PAS showing that it is comfortable working with Bersatu, has added to the souring of the Umno-PAS relationship.
“So after the Johor state polls, MN is expected to be buried and it will become a thing of the past, while Bersatu is expected to continue working together with PAS in the coming 15th general election (GE15),” he said.
Agreeing with this view was Perdana Centre, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia senior lecturer Mazlan Ali who said MN ceased to have a presence in Johor when PAS decided to use the PN logo to contest the Johor state polls.
“If you look at what is being said even on social media, Umno and PAS are actually at war, with Umno saying they don’t need to work with PAS in the Johor state polls.
“At the same time, PAS has also said that Barisan Nasional (BN) is no longer relevant.
“So, at least for now, MN is dead. Unless Pakatan Harapan (PH) wins in a big way in Johor, then maybe they will ‘pull the handbrake’,” said Mazlan.
Meanwhile, a source close to Johor PH said MN stopped functioning after 2020’s ‘Sheraton Move’.
The source said that MN was only strong before the fall of PH, as that was the purpose of the political pact between PAS and Umno.
“After PH fell, they all went their separate ways (here in Johor), pursuing their own agendas,” said the source.
Since then, PAS was seen as “not recognised” in Johor, and this was evident when the party was not given a single executive councillor seat in the state government.
“Instead, those who jumped party were given priority over PAS and were even given an exco seat.
“PAS would have felt insulted by this,” the source told Malay Mail when contacted.
The source added that caretaker Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohamad did not value members of the PN coalition.
“He is not like Muhyiddin (former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) who wanted to bring everybody together to make a strong government.
“So, after the Johor state polls, MN’s presence will continue to deteriorate — as it has in Kelantan, Terengganu, and after this, even in Kedah,” said the source.
In mid-January, Johor Umno deputy chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that there was no need for Umno or BN to cooperate with PAS for the Johor state election.
He said it should already be clear by now that BN will be contesting on its own in both the state polls and GE15.
Since then, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has given his royal assent to the dissolution of the Johor state legislative assembly, paving way for an early state election.
Hasni leads the state government with a razor-thin majority of 28 seats. BN holds 16 seats while Bersatu has 11 seats and PAS one.
The Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition controls 27 seats in the Johor state assembly comprising DAP with 14, Parti Amanah Negara (six) and PKR (seven).