With Party Islam Se-Malaysia or PAS leader Hadi Awang’s statement that his party is targeting only 5 states that it can win, leaving the rest to the ruling Umno, things became clear that an Umno-PAS alliance is on the cards.
An Umno-PAS alliance in Kelantan will mark the return of Umno at the helm of the state government as they would be assured of a massive victory, said observers.
News is also out that the PAS has already started discussions with the Umno on seats allocations in the state of Kelantan, a state that the Islamists has controlled since 1990, after it won the state elections thus ending Umno’s rule in Kelantan.
It is also said both Umno and the Islamists are in talks over the number of Parliamentary seats they would contest in these 5 states which are crucial to the opposition.
The now defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition controlled 4 states after the 2013 elections, namely Penang, Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah.
It has since then lost the Kedah state, which was under the PAS, to the Umno.
Hadi Awang made it clear that his party is fielding candidates in the following states: Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Terengganu and Selangor.
In a video, Hadi said he foresees PAS winning 40 Parliamentary seats in the next general elections and winning in the 5 states mentioned above.
Three corner fights in other states
it is also now clear that the PAS will filed candidates in the other states, playing the third force, in a bid to steal votes from the opposition coalition, the Pakatan Harapan or the Coalition of Hope of jailed leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The Umno took control of Kelantan after the elections of 1978. Those elections followed demonstrations and looting in the state after the Regent of Kelantan (as head of state) to refused to dissolve the state assembly to make way for fresh elections.
The elections were eventually held in March 1978 and was contested by PAS, UMNO and BERJASA, a new party formed by the then Chief Minister of Kelantan Mohamad Nasir, who was also a PAS leader.
UMNO won the election winning 23 seats, while BERJASA won 11 and PAS with 2 seats paving way for UMNO to form government in Kelantan for the first time.
Former PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat had warned the party not to ally with the Umno, reminding them of the time the party was in the Alliance coalition with the Umno in the past.
It was, he had said, a bad experience and since the Umno has not changed, it will not be a good alliance for the PAS.
But since his death in 2015, the party has veered against its partners in the opposition and has showed its preference for the Umno which Haji Awang said was the right party to join forces with in order to save Malaysia’s Islam from liberals and pluralists.