Saturday, March 6, 2021

We’re committed to PN, says PAS in blow to Umno hawks

The Islamist party again says it will not leave the PN coalition despite its 2019 charter with Umno.

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PAS says it is committed to strengthening Perikatan Nasional (PN) despite its cooperation with Umno under the Muafakat Nasional pact, even as a small group of hawks within Umno led by former prime minister Najib Razak urge the Islamist party to leave the ruling coalition.

PAS said it is only interested in ensuring that the country is steered correctly at a time of worldwide upheaval.

“PAS does not want to get involved in political polemics that will push the country to the abyss of disunity and bring instability and threaten peace as well as the people’s economic well-being,” said PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan in a statement, a day after pro-Najib Umno leader Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s criticism of the PAS leadership.

Yesterday, Tajuddin told delegates of his Pasir Salak Umno division that PAS had violated the Muafakat Nasional charter by becoming a component party of PN.

“I remind PAS leaders about the importance of fulfilling a promise. They joined PN alongside Bersatu without our agreement,” he said.

Muafakat Nasional is a charter of cooperation inked by Umno and PAS in September 2019, when the two parties were in the opposition.

Najib meanwhile gave a similar speech at his Pekan Umno division today, urging Umno to leave PN and claiming the party had been shortchanged.

He also said PAS should only work with Umno and not with Bersatu, the party co-founded by Muhyiddin in 2016 after he was sacked from the government over his vocal views on the 1MDB scandal.

The remarks were dismissed by a member of PAS’ Central Working Committee, Awang Hashim, who said Tajuddin was not part of negotiations between PAS, Umno and Bersatu in seeking an electoral alliance in time for the next general election.

“Anyone who is not involved in the negotiations can say whatever they like,” Pendang MP told MalaysiaNow.

In its statement today, PAS said it emphasises unity, urging parties to compromise “and heed the lessons of the past in the interest of the people who need a leadership of integrity”.

“PAS is committed to strengthening Muafakat Nasional and, at the same time, defending the PN government.

“We strongly believe that only true unity and sincerity can bring the country towards harmony, progress and unity where people of all races, faiths and cultures accept and respect each other,” said Takiyuddin in the statement.

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