Malaysiakini Opinion

Is Amanah ready to defend national interests?

Phar Kim Beng  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Amanah is one of the most interesting parties to have emerged from the scene of Malaysian politics to date, potentially, the global Islamic world.

To begin with, Amanah emerged from the rejection of the dalliance of Umno and PAS in 2015. The closer the two became, the more Amanah wanted to break away, and it did, snaring six members of parliament (MPs); which Amanah increased to 11 MPs at the recent May 9 general election, almost an improvement of 100 percent.

Indeed, Liew Chin Tong, the former MP of Kluang, Johor, whose own BA thesis at the Australian National University focussed on the "progressive faction of PAS," once affirmed that as many as nine MPs were ready to bolt away from PAS in 2015. This was out of a total of 21 MPs in PAS, with another three in the offing by 2016.

While this scenario did not occur, it is interesting to note that what Amanah did not achieve through defection, it did so through open election, which again, suggests the internal strength of Amanah on the ground.

Had what Liew predicted came true, Amanah would have enjoyed an electoral preponderance of 12 over the remaining nine MPs of PAS in the national legislature, thus, delivering a mortal blow to the presidency of Abdul Hadi Awang in PAS by 2016-2017.

But Amanah did not induce all 12 MPs to cross over, as that would have destroyed PAS almost from the word get-go, only to invite Umno to attack Amanah even before it had the strength to regroup, indeed, to consolidate. A strategy of tactical attrition was adopted: first six, then more in the general election. This worked like a charm....

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