Will Pas, Bersatu marriage see cracks after court charges, bank freeze?

14 Mar 2023 05:33pm

SHAH ALAM - Will the Pas-Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) marriage in Perikatan Nasional see cracks with the coalition's chairman facing court charges and his party's bank account freeze?

Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has been charged on seven counts of abuse of power and money laundering (AMLA) in court.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) political analyst Dr Syaza Shukri believes that Pas will not leave Bersatu or Perikatan Nasional (PN) because their collaboration has proven to be advantageous.

"One party is more Islamist (Pas), while the other is more Malay nationalist (Bersatu), so it works well for them.

"I really believe they will continue to work with Bersatu going into the state elections. In fact, they can claim political persecution to their advantage," she told Sinar Daily.

Echoing Syaza’s view, Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun commented that Pas is very good at and successful at winning over the public, to the point where it frequently has to "lend" Bersatu its support base when elections are taking place.

"Bersatu is useful to Pas, perhaps only financially.

"Now that most of Bersatu’s accounts are frozen and a number of its senior leaders are hauled into court, there are actually very few political reasons why Pas should stay with Bersatu," he added.

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Muhyiddin, who is the Pagoh member of Parliament is alleged to have abused his power and has been charged according to Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009, while the other charges were under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA).

This makes Muhyiddin the second former Prime Minister after Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be accused of charges under the provisions of the same section in court.