Wednesday, December 8, 2021

PAS members united in choosing PN over MN, says ulama chief

Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh says there will be no protest vote in Melaka unless by 'outside actors'.

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The PAS grassroots will continue to support the party’s decision to work with Perikatan Nasional (PN) instead of Umno under the Muafakat Nasional (MN) charter of cooperation during the Melaka state election on Nov 20, Dewan Ulama chief Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh says.

He said the grassroots had been instilled with the spirit of obedience and loyalty, the natural attitude of the Islamist party.

“The matter was decided by the Shura Council and coordinated by PAS central committee members. PAS members throughout the country are satisfied.

“It is the nature of PAS members to adhere to the decisions of the Shura Council,” he said when met by MalaysiaNow last night.

He was responding to reports stating the dissatisfaction of several individuals said to be Melaka PAS members over the party’s decision not to work with Umno under MN.

Nik Muhammad played down any chance of a protest vote by the grassroots on election day, saying those who are allegedly unhappy with PAS’ decision might be “outsiders” acting as party members.

“There will be no protest vote,” he said. “That is confirmed, unless there are some who are acting.”

A television station owned by an Umno leader had recently reported that some PAS members were against their party’s decision to contest the Melaka polls under PN.

According to the report aired during prime time, the members were upset over the clashes with Umno, PAS’ partner in MN.

PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad had earlier described these clashes as “friendly fights”.

Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan meanwhile said in an interview that his party had extended the hand of cooperation to PAS for the Melaka polls but that it was not reciprocated.

According to him, Barisan Nasional (BN) had offered PAS several seats in the Melaka election.

Some 495,196 voters registered to vote in Melaka will determine the next state government this weekend in an election called after the collapse of the BN-PN administration following the move by four assemblymen to withdraw their support for Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali.

About 10,390 police and military personnel and their spouses cast their ballots in early voting yesterday.

Nik Zawawi voiced hope that voters would decide rationally, choosing a leadership which could unite the Muslims.

“If we succeed in the name of Muslim unity, this solidarity will be even stronger at the 15th general election,” he said.

He said PAS was committed to being with PN, adding however that it would review its position after the Melaka polls.

Political analysts have said that Melaka will be a testing ground for contesting blocs to determine the direction of swing votes, especially among the Malays.

The results of the election are expected to provide a clearer picture of what will come in GE15.

Political observers had also raised the possibility of MN’s collapse after the Melaka polls.

PAS did not win any state or parliamentary seats in Melaka at the last general election in 2018.

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