That didn’t work in 1999 when both parties worked together in the Barisan Alternatif that floundered over the Islamic state concept. In Election 2008, they agreed not to contest against each other and PKR, and their success led to the formation of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Among those in the happy group then was Datuk Dr Hasan Ali. Well, he isn’t there now after being sacked last January by PAS.
This past week, he has criticised Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the PAS spiritual leader and Kelantan Mentri Besar, over the latter’s comments about cooperating with DAP. Others who have supported such cooperation include PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
But Hasan’s ire was directed at Nik Aziz and other PAS leaders whom he called “parasites”. Yet, at the heart of his umbrage is an underlying racism and chauvinism. And that Muslims and non-Muslims should not cooperate.
It is incredible that such a notion still exists almost 50 years after Malaysia was formed, and 55 years of Merdeka for Malaya. Wasn’t the country’s independence based on cooperation between all races? Wasn’t PR victory in 2008 due to such cooperation too?
Perhaps, Hasan recognises the value of such cooperation and realises that it can knock out his former nemesis, Barisan Nasional (BN). Perhaps he wants BN to take back Selangor and rub PR noses into the ground for rejecting him and his ideas.
Beyond the politics of it, it is just reprehensible that we have Malaysian politicians who believe that Muslims and non-Muslims should not cooperate with each other. Malaysians must not tolerate such ideas and tell off those who believe that this manner of thinking is correct.
Malaysia is a country for all, a country where all Malaysians cooperate no matter what race or religion. People like Hasan need to know this before mouthing off and criticising those who work together despite having different faiths. That is true unity.
Hasan can joust all he wants with his former party colleagues but he shouldn’t do it at the expense of Malaysia and Malaysians. We have come a long way as a nation and as a people who work together and should not be undermined by those who feel people of different faiths should not cooperate.
If anything, Malaysians should show people like Hasan the door if he decides to stand for elections again.