|Mustafa: Cease all talks on unity gov’t|
|Tarani Palani | Jun 9, 09 12:00pm Malaysiakini.com|
PAS elections director Mustafa Ali today urged all party leaders to stop issuing “confusing” statements on the purported unity talks with Umno.
He said Pakatan Rakyat leaders too should stop harping on the issue to prevent “negative impressions” being formed.
Mustafa, who is also Terengganu PAS chief, explained that the idea of cooperation with Umno was proposed and taken up by the central committee some time ago but did not lead to anything concrete.
“The president ‘bounced’ the idea around but the members did not agree. The issue was never discussed and a decision was not reached on the matter,” he told a press conference this morning at the PAS headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
From the expressions of the central committee members, he said, it was apparent that they did not agree with the idea and therefore the party felt there was no need for further discussion.
“This is not sweeping (the issue) under the carpet, the issue never occurred. A decision was never made at the meeting. The (unity) talks are not relevant at this point of time,” he said.
“We are with the Pakatan Rakyat and our duty now is to bury Umno in (the) Manek Urai (by-election in Kelantan).”
He further hoped that the ‘unity government’ issue will not arise until the next general election.
“After the next general election, we will be in power, then Umno will come looking for us,” he quipped.
Mustafa described the term ‘cooperation’ as misleading because PAS will not enter into a political cooperation with rivals Umno.
“We can have engagement with any party … MIC, MCA, Umno. (In fact) I see these leaders every day, I talk to them. I even bump into them at the airport. But I only talk with them, it is not negotiating with them.”
Cause of contention
Debate on the ‘unity government’ had dominated the party’s 55th muktamar (general assembly) held last week.
Party president Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa had used the meeting as a platform to promote the idea.
However, several senior PAS leaders, including spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and former vice-president Husam Musa, rejected the plan outright.
Apart from causing concern among PAS members, the matter has also prompted questions from leaders of Pakatan component parties including DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Mustafa conceded that the issue has led to confusion among Pakatan colleagues.
“During the talks that Hadi, Anwar (Ibrahim) and Haron Din (PAS deputy spiritual leader) had with Tok Guru Nik Aziz on the issue of unity government… maybe it was assumed that this message was relayed to DAP, but it was not. It may be true that they are unaware of the issue,” he explained.
Mustafa also commented on the reactions of Umno leaders, including Umno Youth head Khairy Jamaluddin (right) who wants the talks to continue.
“I don’t understand why they are so excited (about) PAS issues (when) PAS has rejected (Umno) so many times,” said Mustafa.
“I have no capacity to stop people from thinking about the issue. If the leadership is still keen on the issue, it is up to them.”
He added that preparations for the Manek Urai by-election are in place, but that the candidate will only be announced about a week before nomination day on July 6.