It is definitely a new era in Malaysia, with some members of Pakatan Harapan coalition parties boycotting their own party meetings to attend other party meetings, but this one is the most unthinkable of all: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Islamist leader Hadi Awang at a Malay Dignity Congress?
News reports say the Parti Islam se-Malaysia president Abdul Hadi Awang will attend a Malay Dignity Congress at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam this Saturday. The congress will be officiated by Dr Mahathir.
However, the Umno which is in an alliance with the Islamists in the opposition has so far opposed the congress which it says is an attempt by Dr Mahathir’s party to divide the opposition.
The organisers, the Pusat Kecemerlangan Melayu Akademi Pengajian Melayu Universiti Malaya in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and the Sultan Idris Education Universiti, invited Dr Mahathir to officiate.
They also invited Hadi Awang to join the congress, and the latter agreed after his party gave him the green light.
They also sent an invitation to the Umno, but the party is yet to respond officially to the invitation to join.
Meanwhile, Umno leaders criticised Dr Mahathir’s party the Bersatu for backing the congress saying the party is trying to gain political mileage and is being organised to counter the Umno-PAS alliance, cemented on Sept 14.
There is no indication whether Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister to be, is invited. His party is not seen as a ‘Malay’ party.
Nevertheless, the organisers said Dr Mahathir is not officiating as the Prime Minister of Malaysia but as a Malay leader. Anwar is also a Malay leader.
It would be awkward, indeed, to see Dr Mahathir, Hadi Awang and Anwar on the same podium at the Malay Dignity Congress.
Hadi Awang is the most ardent critic of Anwar Ibrahim and has made it known publicly he does not support the latter as the future Prime Minister of Malaysia. Instead, he prefers to have Dr Mahathir as PM for the next three years.
Hadi, whose party has 18 MP’s in Parliament, has repeatedly said he would back Dr Mahathir if there was any attempt to remove him as PM. -/TISG