KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — Umno and PAS finally formalised their political dalliance today, with both parties to campaign jointly for the Islamist party’s candidate contesting in this Saturday’s Seri Setia by-election.
The announcement was made by PAS election director Roslan Shahir, PAS Selangor commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi, and Umno vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“This is history in Malaysia. For the first time, PAS and Umno can agree to support one candidate.
“We hope this historical event will end with a victory for our candidate from PAS,” said Roslan.
PAS candidate Dr Halimah Ali is challenging Pakatan Harapan’s Halimey Abu Bakar (PKR) in the poll.
Ismail went on to say that if this trial co-operation results in a PAS victory in Seri Setia, the country’s politics would be permanently altered.
“We want our stronger candidate to win to increase the voice of the Opposition and of the people.
“I believe this can change the political landscape here, so that Pakatan Harapan won’t just ignore the cries of the people,” he said at the press conference which was preceded by a meeting between both Umno and PAS’ Selangor state leaders.
However, both parties insisted that this formal collaboration was only for the duration of the by-election campaign, with future tie-ups to be decided ad hoc.
When pressed on the longevity of their relations, Roslan was non-committal, saying the welfare of the people is what drove them to work together.
“Our relations are not only for the welfare of the Malays, but also to defend our religious rights.
“We will continue to work together, not for political gains, but to be a good Opposition bloc, and God willing we will cooperate beyond this by-election,” said Roslan.
Sabri then rubbished claims of the coalition being a political experiment, and explained that the ties between them have started to gain traction after finding themselves on the Opposition bloc.
“For the first time, this year we held the Barisan Nasional (BN) pre-council meeting which included PAS.
“We then worked together during the Sungai Kandis by-election, where PAS agreed not to field a candidate when Umno sent Datuk Lokman, same like how they agreed to allow MCA to compete in the Balakong by-elections,” said Sabri, referring to Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who lost in the by-election.
“Umno is committed in this by-election,” he added.
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