KUANTAN: PAS is not demanding to be the leader should a political partnership be formed with Umno, says party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
He said the common ground for cooperation was the concept of Islam leading the way.
His comments came about following reports that quoted PAS mursyidul am (spiritual leader) Hashim Jasin as saying that the Islamist party must be a leader of any political cooperation instead of a follower.
“It’s not necessarily Umno or PAS that leads. It can even be a third party that becomes the head that is accepted by all.
“Politics is flexible. We must understand that. We are not demanding unless the people force us or need us to be at the forefront,” Abdul Hadi said after opening the 65th annual PAS muktamar here yesterday.
Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki reportedly said the issue of which party leading the opposition coalition did not arise because Umno and PAS had established a technical committee to formalise their political cooperation.
Abdul Hadi admitted that there were some within the party who called for caution when working with Umno.
“Being cautious is normal. We have to be aware there is Umno-phobia in PAS and in Umno there is also PAS-phobia.
“But we as Muslims have morals and must prioritise peace and the interest of the ummah instead of emotions.
“We must discard emotions to achieve unity and joint political interest,” he said.
In his policy speech, Abdul Hadi said PAS was confident in leading Malaysia’s pluralistic society, with its existing social contract and Federal Constitution with the true interpretation of Islam without alienating other races and adherers of other faith.
He said the mandate for political cooperation, seat allocation and candidate selection should be submitted to the PAS Syura Ulama Council and the central leadership.
Abdul Hadi also slammed the Pakatan Harapan administration in his speech, calling it a weak and unreliable government while also dubbing it a “government of kakistocracy”.
“We are witnessing the disorder of the political and economic direction under Pakatan which until this day has failed to produce ideas and concepts of state in accordance with the true Islamic framework,” he said.
The list of Pakatan government’s weaknesses would be very long, he said, adding that it only knew how to blame others or rebrand the previously criticised government programmes.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who was present for the opening ceremony of the muktamar, told reporters that a steering committee meeting would be held on July 12 to discuss the findings of the technical committee on their political cooperation.
Once an agreement had been reached, a roadshow would be held to explain the charter as a guide for the state, division and area levels, he said.
Besides Mohamad, other Umno leaders present yesterday were Umno vice-presidents Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, information chief Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah and Asyraf.
Also present were the mentris besar of four opposition states namely, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, Terengganu Mentri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man.
MIC president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran and leaders of Gagasan Sejahtera parties were there as well. Top leaders of MCA were not present.
The three-day event ends tomorrow.