Anwar confident PAS won’t leave Pakatan
Anwar said the Umno president’s latest move show that the ruling coalition was on the brink of desperation in wanting to remain in power.
“I have full faith and confidence in the PAS leadership...Umno is desperate in wanting to create tension between PAS and PKR.
“As far as PKR is concerned we have to trust in the PAS leadership and president to keep us informed,” Anwar told reporters today.
PAS leaders were amused and have ridiculed Najib’s invitation for the party to ditch Pakatan Rakyat (PR) by joining the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
The prime minister earlier said that PAS must work together with Umno for the sake of the Malay and Muslim community, telling the Islamist party that it could not achieve its aim while partnering with the DAP.
“Why play nice with DAP? Does DAP champion Islam?” Najib asked in Kuala Terengganu over the weekend.
Najib’s invitation follows a call last weekend by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite the Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by the DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.
But MCA has objected to PAS’s entry, saying it should drop its Islamic state ambitions. Najib said yesterday he did not want to be dragged in the debate over PAS’s stand.
Anwar launched into a verbal tirade against Najib today and accused the PM of being a hypocrite.
“Umno’s proposal is desperate- 1 Malaysia to the Chinese and Indians, but 1 Malay to the Malay...thinking Malaysians are not smart.
“This smacks of hyprocrisy, inconsistency on Najib’s part, he keeps playing on Malay unity talks with PAS, quite desperate,” added Anwar.
Najib’s invitation continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.
The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders keen on exploring talks with Umno emerging big winners.
More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was once again broached.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into the BN entailed both PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon PR, but spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.
Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi reassured his partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.
In an interview with The Malaysian Insider last year, PAS spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said there was no possibility of PAS working with Umno or joining BN.
“Absolutely not. There is no way that PAS would even consider unity talks with Umno,” he had said.
He recounted how PAS had in the past briefly joined BN and that it resulted in a divided PAS.
According to Nik Aziz, back in 1971 PAS had joined BN’s bandwagon when the late Tun Abdul Razak — Najib’s father — extended an invitation to the Islamist party.
“Umno was desperate back then, especially after the May 13 riots in 1969. When PAS joined BN, PAS Kelantan was split into four groups, and we were not united because each group supported a different idea,” he said.
Nik Aziz pointed out that Umno eventually “kicked PAS out” of the BN coalition.