PORT DICKSON: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) has slammed PAS for questioning his visits to non-Muslim places of worship while campaigning for the Port Dickson by-election, saying members of the Islamist party used to accompany him to such places when PKR was in Pakatan Rakyat.
The PKR president-elect said he was also surprised that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang should question his decision to contest in Port Dickson, just because it was not a Malay-majority seat.
"Why wasn't it wrong for me to visit these places of worship when we were in Pakatan Rakyat?
"When I visit these places of worship, I do not go to their prayer hall or take part in the prayer sessions.
"It's funny that previously when PAS members used to come with me, this was not wrong," he told reporters at the Pakatan operations centre.
Anwar said visiting non-Muslim places of worship was not forbidden in Islam, which taught its adherents to be respectful of other faiths.
Anwar said if he had contested in a Malay-majority seat, then Abdul Hadi would have asked why wasn't the contesting in a mixed constituency.
"Port Dickson is actually a microcosm of what Malaysia is, as the majority of the constituents are Malays, followed by Chinese and Indians.
"Although the only shortcoming is that there are not many Ibans and Kadazans here, I'm happy that I managed to meet a Kadazan who retired from the army and has been living here for the past 15 years," he said.
On another statement by Abdul Hadi that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be allowed to serve his full term as Prime Minister, Anwar said the PAS leader was entitled to his views.
"I know there are attempts from many sides to stop me from taking over from him.
"Although Abdul Hadi is entitled to his view, Dr Mahathir has already decided on this," he said.
Asked on talks of a unity government with Umno, Anwar reiterated that this was not going to happen.
"The Pakatan leadership, including Dr Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin, have also stated the same on this.
"I am surprised there are still some social media outlets talking about this, although I myself have repeatedly said this won't be happening," he said.
According to Anwar, he had been warmly received by the constituents while on his campaign rounds so far.
"I have gone to the masjid, temples, market, villages and warong.
"I'm glad that the response has been good," he said.
Asked why senior party members were not seen campaigning for him, Anwar said they would do so in the coming days.
"I have reminded them to come as Pakatan leaders and not as ministers or holding other government positions," he added.