PAS confirms meetings with PM, Anwar not worried

Posted by Penarik Beca Monday, July 21, 2008

Malaysian Insider (21/7/08): PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has confirmed that his party had met Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss Islam and Malay unity.

The first meeting took place just after the March 8 general election, attended by the party's deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, national election director Datuk Mustafa Ali and Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Samad.

"We have informed about the meeting to the PAS central committee meeting and (the highest decision-making body) ulama' syura (religious scholars advisory) council.

"As a result, the syura council decided to give the mandate to the president, deputy president and secretary-general to strive harder towards uniting Muslims and Malaysians according to the way of Islam," Hadi said in a statement.

Based on the resolution of the council, he said a second meeting took place between Nasharudin and the Prime Minister at Parliament House.

"PAS is prepared to ensure the success of a dialogue with Umno for the sake of Muslims and Malays," he added.

The Prime Minister had revealed that he met PAS leaders three times in the past few months.

Will this affect the Pakatan Rakyat coalition?

De facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said he was not worried as Hadi had reaffirmed the party's commitment to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition that controls five states and 82 parliament seats.

He claimed that the Prime Minister had also met Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and vice-president Azmin Ali recently.

"Wan Azizah and Azmin Ali have met the PM too. As recently as yesterday, Ustaz Hadi said their commitment with Pakatan Rakyat remains."

PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali is also confident that Hadi would not backtrack on his promises.

"From Hadi's statement it is clear that PAS will remain with Pakatan Rakyat," he told The Malaysian Insider.

But PAS vice-president Husam Musa yesterday criticised Abdullah's disclosure of the talks, saying the prime minister was trying to "plant seeds of destruction in PAS", with his description of meeting party decision-makers.

"PAS is an Islamic community which functions with Islamic methods and ethics that includes discussion among members," he said in a statement carried by party information website HarakahDaily.net.

He pointed out the announcement was an attempt to strengthen Abdullah's position amidst the Umno infighting while getting the people to lose confidence in the Pakatan Rakyat and hindering the post-12th general election agenda and breaking non-Malay support for PAS like 40 years ago.

In Kota Baru, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today made a surprise call to stop plans for the proposed unity talks, claiming it could cause a split in the party.

Describing attempts to be friendly with Umno as "sleeping with the enemy", the Kelantan Mentri Besar put a challenge to his party leaders whether they were really interested in safeguarding PAS and Islam.

Nik Aziz who was not present in any of the meetings with the Prime Minister said he was not happy with certain statements issued by party leaders who were keen with meeting their Umno counterparts.

"It's not that I'm not in line with Pas leaders' thinking but if they are not careful, they would be played out by Umno," he said in a press conference today. He reiterated his stand that the grassroots members should decide whether a dialogue with Umno should be held or not.

Umno offered PAS to jointly rule S'gor (Malaysiakini 21/7/08)
Pakatan leaders unperturbed by PAS-Umno talks (Malaysiakini 21/7/08)

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