PETALING JAYA: PAS has hit back at Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, saying it was DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang who mooted the idea for the Islamist party to cooperate with the unity government.
PAS information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin said Lim made the suggestion as the government's position was fragile and Umno apparently no longer had the support of the Malay community.
"Perikatan Nasional will continue to make preparations and moves to become a more professional and caring government that listens to the grievances of the people," he said in a statement on Tuesday (May 30).
Earlier in the day, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president, confirmed there has not been any move by government leaders to make such an offer to PAS.
He refuted PAS' claims and said the matter was never discussed officially among the 19 party leaders in the government nor among coalition chairmen.
On claims that PAS had met with certain leaders to that effect, he said: "We don't view it as an official meeting and there isn't a move made in that direction."
Ahmad Zahid was commenting on PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man's statement that several parties had contacted and met him with an offer to join the government.
Similar claims were made by PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang before.
On May 14, Lim proposed that the unity government cooperate with PAS ahead of the six upcoming state elections.
However, Lim stressed that the government should only do so on two conditions – one is that PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang cease hostilities towards Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and that Abdul Hadi must show honesty.
Lim also made the call in support of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's decree that Malaysia needs political stability and following the success of the unity government convention.