Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s Islamic opposition on Monday spurned the ruling party’s invitation for an alliance, calling it a “malicious” scheme to divide the opposition parties who together made impressive gains in last year’s elections.
Abdul Hadi Awang, the president of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, said in a statement that the party remained committed to unseating the ruling National Front coalition, and had no intention of joining it.
The unequivocal statement puts paid to the National Front’s evident hope of causing a split in an opposition alliance and revive its own plunging fortunes.
In the last general elections in March 2008, the National Front failed to win a two-thirds majority in the 222-member Parliament for the first time in four decades.
The three-party opposition alliance won an unprecedented 82 seats, with PAS more than tripling its seats to 23.
Besides Abdul Hadi, Monday’s statement was also signed by leaders of PAS’ two other partners, the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party and the multiethnic People’s Justice Party headed by Anwar Ibrahim, who all attended a two-hour meeting.