It’s a mistake to kick out PAS, with its massive Malay support, says ex-minister Kadir.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Information Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir has told PKR and DAP that they were making a mistake in excluding PAS from their coalition.
In an interview with FMT, Kadir appeared to be holding out hope that Pakatan Rakyat would remain intact in spite of DAP’s declaration weeks ago that the coalition was dead.
He said PKR and DAP should learn from the mistake made by the late Singapore leader, Lee Kuan Yew, who often spoke with regret about his failure to understand the Malays.
“When people asked Lee Kuan Yew what was his biggest regret in his political career, he said that when Singapore was in Malaysia, he failed to understand the Malay psyche,” Kadir said.
“He didn’t understand the sensitivities of the peninsula, of the majority population, the Malays.
“When he found out that Singapore had been sacked from Malaysia, he was very sad and he broke down, even in front of the press. That’s because he failed to understand the Malay psyche, simple as that.”
Kadir recalled that a few months ago he urged Pakatan leaders to stop using “harsh words” against one another. He was referring to the altercation between DAP and PAS, which began to escalate early this year as PAS prepared to amend Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code to enable the enforcement of hudud punishments. The amendments were passed in March.
Kadir said that PAS, with its massive support among the Malays, was the one political party that could give Pakatan any hope of capturing Putrajaya.
“There are only two mass-based parties in Malaysia – Umno and PAS,” he said. “They have members, branches and followers throughout the country. No other party has that kind of direct strength from its members. Of course, vote wise, the other parties are relatively strong, but that’s because of people’s hatred towards Barisan Nasional.
“If you kick out PAS from Pakatan Rakyat, you don’t have a mass-based party in your group. So you cannot be an alternative government. You will be a very weak alternative government if you win.”
He said there must be a “backbone party” in any coalition wishing to form a strong government, and for Pakatan, PAS would be that backbone.
“Otherwise it will be a musical chair type of government,” he said. “After three months or six months, the government will be voted out and everybody will be holding the others to ransom and will be making stupid decisions just to remain in power.”