KUALA LUMPUR: Umno and PAS have formally announced their political collaboration.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said that the two parties are "married" and will work on a political platform without any conditions, especially in by-elections, for the interests of uniting the Muslims and Malays.
He said there will be a main committee and an opposition caucus in Parliament, but the parties will not be forming a coalition.
"This main committee will be chaired by both me and the PAS deputy president. There will be a technical committee chaired by the two vice-presidents of the parties, namely Umno's Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and PAS' Dr Idris Ahmad.
"The committee will comprise five top leaders from both parties respectively.
“This committee is to formalise our cooperation,” he said, adding that it will iron out the framework for future cooperation between the two parties.
Mohamad also said that the cooperation will enable PAS and Umno to be an effective opposition caucus in Parliament that will serve as a check and balance to the government.
“We will also be an opposition that will debate on any issues, and we will give support on matters that will benefit the people and the country.
“We will not agree to anything that will not bring good to the people and the country,” he said.
"Umno and PAS have agreed that this is a cooperation, respecting each other, and finding the meeting points between the two parties for the sake of the unity of Muslims (ummah).
"Our agenda is not to create a Malay pact versus the non-Malays. We want to unite the Muslims and bumiputra without sidelining any other race and religion " added Mohamad.
He said this after a three-hour meeting on Tuesday (March 5) between top Umno and PAS leaders at the Umno headquarters here in Putra World Trade Centre to work out the formation of a technical committee for the collaboration.
Among those present were Umno supreme council members Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Khaled Nordin, secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Wanita chief Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad and Youth chief Datuk Seri Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
Seven top PAS leaders including deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Idris Ahmad, secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan and Muslimat chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh were present at the meeting.
"We 'exchanged rings' in Sungai Kandis, were 'engaged' in Seri Setia and then we decided we wanted to get 'married' - this is the official ceremony. And now we are sitting on the dais," said Mohamad.
He also pooh-poohed those who said that there would be a united logo between Umno and PAS.
"Those who said that are from Hospital Bahagia (mental hospital)," said Mohamad.
He also said that PAS and Umno would hold roadshows across the country to explain the formal cooperation between the two parties to its grassroots.
Tuan Ibrahim said that the meetings of the new committee will be alternated between Umno and PAS headquarters.
"We are not only for the Malay Muslims but the interests of the whole country when we say ummah (Muslim nation)," said Tuan Ibrahim.
This was the first formal talks between the two parties.
Last month, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the cooperation between Umno and PAS was not a political gimmick but a sincere collaboration for the sake of Islam, the Malays and the country.
After the wins by Barisan in Cameron Highlands and Semenyih, Umno and PAS have concluded that working together can bear fruits to rattle the Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition.