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COMMENT | In Malaysian politics, a three-cornered electoral contest has always been the Achilles’ heel of the opposition. But this is not the case with PAS-induced three-cornered fights, that the Islamist party has threatened to create in the coming 14th general election.

The simple reason is that PAS is now not a genuine opposition party.

In fact, the party at this moment is exhibiting all the symptoms of schizophrenia – concurrently anti-Umno and pro-Umno, depending on which leader is speaking and when.

But soon, PAS will have to shed its anti-Umno cloak when Parliament is dissolved and nomination and polling day are announced. The surfacing of the anticipated strategy to avoid clashes between PAS and Umno in their respective strongholds, particularly in Kelantan, will reveal their true intent. Such evidence of PAS-Umno political collusion will further be reinforced by PAS fielding candidates in unnecessarily large numbers of seats where it doesn’t stand the remotest chance of winning.

These PAS candidates are now described as Umno’s “suicide bombers” – sacrificial lambs at the altar of Umno’s political hegemony.

Moment of truth

This will be the moment of truth that will do PAS and Umno in.

For the eventual full exposure of such political conspiracy designed as a lifeline to save Umno from political defeat is expected to cause massive defection from PAS. This is because grassroots members and supporters of PAS have long fought to remove its arch-enemy, the allegedly corrupt and racist Umno, as a stumbling block to PAS’ long cherished dream to fully realise Islamic values in the country.

That PAS is fearful of this eventuality is evident from its panic-stricken reaction when the Straits Times of Singapore revealed that PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang had allegedly been in almost daily conversation with Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak (even during Hadi’s recovery from his recent heart surgery) to plot to take Selangor from the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan in the next election.

A chorus of PAS leaders including Deputy President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man then instantly sprang to vehemently deny the allegation, while, tellingly, the man at the centre of the allegation, Hadi Awang, has remained deafeningly silent to date.

A toothless tiger

And Umno, which has counted on PAS to save its own skin, will find its new cohort a tiger without its teeth.

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