MCA and MIC appear to be signalling that they are part of the Muafakat National alliance with PAS.
In his opening speech at a BN-PAS ceramah last Wednesday, MCA president Wee Ka Siong referred to Muafakat Nasional as a form of opposition solidarity. The positions of the two non-Malay parties became more apparent at a Muafakat Nasional Youth event in Pekan Nanas, Tanjung Piai, last night, which featured the Youth chiefs of MCA, MIC, Umno and PAS. “Salam Muafakat Nasional,” said MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong at the start of her speech, adding that the concept of Muafakat Nasional is for the opposition to work together towards something better.
In his speech, MIC Youth chief R Thinalan said Muafakat Nasional showed that Malays, Indians and Chinese can share a stage and talk about issues affecting voters instead of harping on racial issues, unlike Pakatan Harapan. Neither MCA nor MIC have previously made clear whether their parties were part of the Umno-PAS alliance. In a statement the day before Muafakat Nasional was formed on Sept 14, Wee had said MCA would witness the “cooperation between Umno and PAS” to “ensure that the gathering will strictly observe the values of multiculturalism and moderation”.
Likewise, MIC president SA Vigneswaran said he would only be witnessing the deal but have no role in it. MCA’s candidate for Tanjung Piai Wee Jeck Seng, has also steered clear of commenting on the Umno-PAS alliance. However, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said that the Muafakat Nasional charter clearly states that Umno also means BN, MCA and MIC, and PAS means Gagasan Sejahtera, Berjasa and Ikatan.
Some 500 people, mostly donned in BN uniforms, and a scattering of PAS people attended the Muafakat Nasional Youth event last night. In his speech, PAS Youth chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin urged Muslims to pray for MCA’s victory in the Tanjung Piai by-election. “If you are strong enough tonight, perform solat hajat (prayer of needs).
Pray for God to give victory to the person who will fight for the people’s justice,” he said. Khairil also pledged the full support of PAS Youth for Jeck Seng. Last week, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had also campaigned for the BN candidate.
MCA’s embracing of Muafakat Nasional is a significant shift from earlier this year, when it was actually considering quitting the BN coalition. In March, MCA decided to remain with the coalition to keep it multicultural, and so that an Umno-PAS alliance does not become the main framework of the opposition.
Reference: Malaysiakini, Zikri KamarulzamanPublished: 13 Nov 2019.