Retract ‘kafir’ label on Umno, PAS told

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has thrown a spanner in the works on the proposed signing of a formal political pact between opposition parties Umno and PAS on Saturday.

The Prime Minister said PAS has to first retract its statement labelling Umno as a party of infidels (kafir) before the two parties finalise their cooperation with the signing of a charter, reported Bernama.

He said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has yet to officially retract his statement labelling Umno as a party of infidels so as to enable PAS to forge a cooperation with Umno.

“Even the United Nations charter has been unable to stop wars, what more the Umno-PAS charter. They were (political) rivals. PAS has said Umno is a party of infidels, ” he said with a hint of sarcasm at a press conference in Alor Setar.

Dr Mahathir, who is the chairman of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, was asked to comment on a recent joint statement by Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa and PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan on the charter.The charter, which was drawn up by a joint committee, is to be signed by the presidents of the two parties at the Putra World Trade Centre after a two-day gathering called “Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah” (Ummah Unity Gathering) of over 10,000 representatives from both parties.

Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said Bersatu must point out that Umno-PAS is not really for the Malays but the benefit of a few of its leaders.

For this to happen, Mukhriz said Bersatu needs to retake the political narrative and demonstrate that the party is sincere in working towards improving the Malay community.

He added that Umno’s nonsensical demand for Parliament to be dissolved soon was actually mooted to stop the court cases against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“We (Bersatu) should not be too concerned about Umno-PAS’ so-called Penyatuan Ummah movement, ” said Mukhriz, who is also Kedah Mentri Besar.

On Aug 25, Malay-Muslim NGO Ummah had threatened to hold a rally to demand that the Pakatan government dissolve Parliament, claiming it had failed to protect the interests of the Muslim community.

Bersatu Supreme Council member Tariq Ismail said that he is concerned that Malays are now being steered towards the right where the 3Rs – Race, Religion and Royalty – will surely be played out.

“We should not react to everything that Umno and PAS come up with. We have to understand that the Malays are in siege-mode and overtly sensitive and the 3Rs has become conveniently unavoidable.

“However, it is an opportune moment for Bersatu to sit back and listen to the rhetoric that will come out. We can formulate mid- to long-term solutions to what ails the Malays.

“As long as there is an economic roadmap to achieve shared prosperity and emancipate the Malays, especially the B40 from economic hardship and implement the policies, we should be able to tackle the rhetoric, ” said Tariq.

Umno and PAS leaders have insisted the gathering was not a political gimmick but a sincere collaboration for the sake of Islam, the Malays and the country.

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