PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has given the strongest indication yet that his party will not dump Perikatan Nasional (PN) to settle for its Muafakat Nasional (MN) charter with Umno, putting to rest speculation from Umno leaders following the outcome of the Melaka election.
In a statement laden with analogies and verses from the Quran, Hadi said the stand was in line with the spirit and original objective of MN, the charter of cooperation signed by PAS and Umno in 2019 when the two giant Malay-based parties were in the opposition.
“PAS will only accept the MN charter that has completed the terms of the agreement signed, without conflicting with the agenda of achieving greater power and unity in the community through the notion of PN,” Hadi said in a statement.
This comes less than a week after repeated calls by Umno leaders for PAS to rethink its decision to join hands with Bersatu in PN.
PAS had opted to stand under the PN banner together with Bersatu and Gerakan in the recently concluded Melaka election, which saw the Umno-led Barisan Nasional restoring its administration that was toppled in the 2018 general election.
PAS is part of the PN coalition led by Muhyiddin Yassin, who was toppled as prime minister following a coup engineered by Umno leaders Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak.
In the run-up to the Melaka election, PAS spurned calls by Umno leaders, committing itself to PN and for the first time contesting an election without its green and white logo.
PN’s defeat to Umno in the state saw renewed calls by Umno leaders loyal to Zahid and Najib for a renewal of the MN charter.
Hadi said the MN charter should also include Bersatu, adding that it was based on the Islamic call for unity across races.
He said while MN was focused on Malay-Muslim unity, PN was formed as a broader vehicle to unite other communities with the aim of being vested with political power with multiracial representation.
“Thus, Muslims from the largest Malay and Bumiputera parties, from Umno, PAS and Bersatu, have been united, as are those in the NGOs who don’t belong to any party,” said Hadi.
“After taking over the federal government, PN was created taking into account the larger community, including non-Muslims who are part of the multiracial society.”
Hadi said PAS rejects MN if it only involves the Islamist party and Umno.
“PAS also rejects any notion that does not take into consideration a multiracial society that must be addressed by the larger concept of PN,” he added.