PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has delivered a strongly worded statement aimed at Umno leaders over their refusal to join hands with Bersatu in the next election, saying events have overtaken the Muafakat Nasional charter signed by PAS and Umno during their time in the opposition.
Tuan Ibrahim questioned the confidence displayed by Umno leaders, saying the party had forgotten the basis of cooperation formed through the charter.
“Do we think that just because the light at the end of the tunnel is bright, we must throw away the lamp that we carry?
“Does one dispose of the umbrella once the rain stops? Are we so great that we have the strength of millions of members, that we are still set in the same mindset of the past?
“Are two parties better than three, and are we so sure of victory just because we can contest in more seats?” Tuan Ibrahim said in a series of questions posed to Umno leaders.
This comes after party president Abdul Hadi Awang today suggested that Umno had strayed from the original goals of Muafakat Nasional, and again urged for the strengthening of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
In the strongest sign yet that PAS and Umno have relapsed into their bitter, decades-old rivalry, Hadi also rejected any attempt to break its alliance with Bersatu, its partner in PN.
Without explicitly naming Umno, Hadi also said his party rejected any cooperation with with those who show “disloyalty to the country and extreme behaviour that challenges race and religion”.
“Let us accept this new offer, one that has integrity and virtue and is based on the Federal Constitution, which celebrates a multi-religious and multiracial society,” Hadi said today.
Tuan Ibrahim said Muafakat Nasional was signed when both Umno and PAS were in the opposition, and was aimed at protecting mutual interests concerning Muslims and Malays.
He said the agreement had also benefited the two parties in the by-elections held since the 2018 polls.
“The aim was to prevent three-cornered contests that would result in the defeat of PAS or Umno. (The arrangement was) that if Umno entered a by-election, PAS would stay out, and vice versa,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim said the charter had clearly stated that both parties would accept any other party or organisation in efforts towards forging Muslim unity.
He said following the formation of the new government which had the combined support of Umno and PAS MPs, presidents from both parties had invited Bersatu to be part of the charter.
But Tuan Ibrahim said Umno had not responded to Bersatu’s agreement to join Muafakat.
“This was because Umno was disappointed when PN was registered as a coalition,” he said, adding that Muafakat could not be registered as its name had already been taken up.
Tuan Ibrahim said Umno’s resistance to PN had now come to a “point of no return”, with some its leaders urging PAS and Umno to focus on Muafakat.
“However, for PAS, the basis of the formation should be seen in the contemporary framework, not before the formation of the PN government,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim also reminded Umno that politics was about “making more friends and fewer enemies”.
“In any political consensus, there is competition for seats. If even within the same party it can be a point of contention, what more in a coalition of various parties?
“But the method of agreement is that those with existing seats should not be stingy, and those who ask for seats should not be greedy. There are times when we must sacrifice the things that we love most in order to avoid greater harm,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim then gave Umno a warning, using lines from “Anak Kecil Main Api” (Little Child Playing With Fire), a song often played at Umno events to motivate members.
“You can sing ‘anak kecil bermain api’, but if you’re not careful, you will get yourself burnt,” he said.