PAS: Open discussion for all

as in PAS for all?

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Hadi: Let’s not shut our doors to others
Rahmah Ghazali and Hafiz Yatim | Jun 7, 09 9:07pm Malaysiakini.com
In his closing speech at 55th PAS muktamar in Shah Alam today, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang sought to paint a liberal picture of not shutting its doors to other parties for discussions.

MCPX

pas muktamar 070609 hadi awangThis is despite criticisms leveled against the party leadership for opening discussions to arch-rival Umno following last year’s March 8 general election political tsunami.

According to Hadi, Islam does not teach Muslims to shun others although they may have opposing views with the Islamic party.

“Islam will not be with us if we do not fight for the cause as a whole. We cannot just rely on ourselves… we need to meet everyone to have an open discussion,” he said.

Instead, Hadi urged that the party should instead fight against the “real” enemies and not the “imaginary” enemies as those are different in nature.

“Don’t waste our time chasing these imaginary foes until we ignore the real ones,” said Hadi, in an apparent reference to Umno.

However, in his winding-up speech he did not elaborate on who the “real” or the “imaginary” enemies were.

“What we have to do is prioritise peace because we want to save humanity… (With this) we should attract more supporters and voters as many as we can for our party,” he said.

On the same note, Hadi asserted that there is no need for PAS to share “other people’s ship” as “our ship is already strong enough”.

“So there is also no need for us to even join the Barisan Nasional ship,” he said, drawing cheers from the delegates.

Consultation does not mean sharing power

Elaborating from Hadi’s speech, deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa stressed that any talks with Umno or any other party would not mean that it endorses “power sharing”.

pas muktamar 070609 nasharudin mat isaSpeaking to reporters later, he said that such discussions are needed for the “benefit of the people and the nation pertaining to current issues that need to be answered”.

“(However), I have to reiterate that PAS joining Umno is a non-issue as we are only concentrating more on discussions.

“Besides that, we are open to discussions regardless of who they are. If MIC wants to talk to us, we would welcome it,” he said with a laugh.

To a question whether such a move would result in a further split to the party, Nasharuddin however remains positive that the party could manage and accommodate “different views”.

“We practice the principle of rights… that is why the muktamar is held in the first place where they could debate anything on everything. So we could gather different viewpoints in order to determine the direction of the party,” he said.

In his response to spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who yesterday ridiculed the suggestion of a unity government, Nasharuddin said this was “his personal view”.
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“But we prioritise more on the party’s overview. Even now, we don’t have any concrete decision on these talks with Umno. It is a very general statement and not at all specific and I will leave it to the party to decide,” he said.

They have been our political enemies, but…

pas nik aziz speech 060609 audienceAccording to Nasharuddin, although still many senior members felt that it was wrong to hold talks with Umno which had backstabbed PAS in 1974, it does not mean that “we cannot go back and talk to them”.

“They have been our political enemies but that does not mean that we should shut the door for us to have a dialogue on issues related to the benefit of the people and the nation.

“It is not just about sharing power and not just about going to form a (unity) government, that is not the issue,” he said.

When asked if the top leadership would not be “suspicious” with their old political enemy, Umno, who have been open for discussions since their setback in the general elections, Nasharuddin jokingly said: “Well we have more bargaining powers on our side”.

“But of course, it does not mean sharing of power. It is about coming out with (unlimited issues) like discussing about the betterment of the current judicial crisis or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, we can start from there,” he said.

He however believes that DAP and PKR will not oppose to what the party is doing as the party is determined not to join BN or Umno.

“We are not joining BN, we are not joining Umno… (all this will) be explained by the president, and (the issue) is going to be settled,” he said.

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