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Unity government: Pas' decision can affect PN's clout, say experts

Publish date: Fri, 25 Nov 2022, 08:58 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Pas' decision to consider Pakatan Harapan's (PH) offer to be part of a unity government could affect Perikatan Nasional's (PN) clout since the Islamist party has the largest share of seats in the coalition, experts say.

Political analyst Dr Ainul Adzellie Hasnul said Pas' decision to consider joining the unity government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could create instability and division among its grassroots.

"It is not surprising that Pas would want to join the unity government as the party has always given the perception that it does not want to be left behind.

"In this situation, some would say that they are opposed to the idea of working with PH, while the rest may say that it will benefit them in the long run. 

"They could also see the opportunity to gain ministerial posts or any government-linked companies by being in the government," he told the New Straits Times.

The 15th General Election (GE15) that ended last Saturday resulted in no single coalition being able to secure a simple majority to form the federal government.

However, on Thursday Anwar was appointed as the prime minister to lead a unity government. Earlier, PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had declined to be part of such a government despite Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah's preference for all coalition to come together.

Following Anwar's appointment, Pas announced that it would deliberate on the offer extended to PN to join the newly formed unity government.

Pas secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan had said that the party would need to discuss the matter with other PN component parties before reaching a consensus as well as considering its voters' views.

Soon after, Muhyiddin shut down Takiyuddin's statement and said that the coalition would continue its role as the opposition to carry out "check and balance" in the Parliament.

Ainul said the inconsistent messages conveyed between PN's leaders would lead to a political conundrum.

"I believe that Muhyiddin will feel crossed knowing what Pas is doing. They will surely hold a meeting to discuss this.

"This is (also) where they need to do damage control as Pas secured the most seats. If they agree to join the unity government, PN will definitely crumble and it would not be a good future for the coalition as a whole.

"At the same time, PH will definitely welcome Pas warmly, despite their differences in ideologies and views, as they were previously allies (in the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition)," he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Institute of Ethnic Studies deputy director Assoc Prof Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid said PN's grassroots must comprehend that the nation was practising a representative democracy and the importance in adhering to the King's decree.

"The order by His Majesty was not merely a suggestion, but an order to be obeyed. Politics is dynamic and PN has to be part of the unity government, which will benefit all since none of the coalition parties has a majority to form its own government.

"Everyone must be reminded that this is not a PH government. The people is not vested in the power to choose a prime minister, but rather a representative.

"The people will (also) be at ease if the unity government can work collectively in the name of the people to ensure that their wellbeing is taken care of," she said.

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PAS can join as cheerleader but no ministerial, government or GLC posts.

2 months ago

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