|Nik Aziz to Nasha: ‘Quit PAS, join Umno’|
|Jun 17, 09 1:26pm Malaysiakini.com|
Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat has asked party deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa to quit the party and join Umno over his continued stand in forging alliance with the rival party.
“The issue of forming a unity government is not something which came from PAS as a whole. It was a personal idea of someone.
“This matter was never discussed in PAS or within Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.
“If it is true that Nasharuddin supports the formation of a unity government, it is best that he joins Umno by quitting his PAS post (as deputy president) and as an MP for Bachok,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
“Don’t cause problems in the party,” added the Kelantan menteri besar. He spoke to reporters after chairing state exco meeting in Kota Bahru.
This remark made by the most senior party leader today indicated that the party was clearly heading towards an open rift over the issue of holding unity talks with Umno.
Nik Aziz has been a vocal critic of having any links with Umno, constantly reminding the party members and leaders of the party’s bad experience in forming alliance with Umno in the 1970s.
Disappointed with Nasharuddin
The main backer to hold such talks is party president Abdul Hadi Awang. His deputy Nasharuddin is also a vocal supporter of the talks.
Nik Aziz also said that he was disappointed with Nasharuddin’s stand on the unity government issue as the situation has now allowed for a rift in the party.
“The Umno people are having a gala time now as PAS is in turmoil… Pakatan is in turmoil.”
He also added that if Barisan Nasional was genuine about forming a unity government, it should then appoint some Pakatan leaders as ministers.
“If it is agreeable to all, PAS (leader) can be a minister, DAP and PKR as well,” he said.
Yesterday Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that he was open to such talks with PAS.
After first broaching the subject at the PAS Muktamar two weeks ago, Hadi had then imposed conditions that he was willing to talk to Umno if the latter was ready to implement some democratic reforms.
Yesterday Nasharuddin responded to Najib by saying that PAS was willing to talk to Umno on matters of national interest but ruled out discussions on a unity government.
Earlier today PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali said that the party would hold unity talks with Umno only if its Pakatan Rakyat partners – PKR and DAP – are included in the talks.
Responding to this Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said BN was clear in what it wants from the unity talks and urged the Pakatan allies to be united in what they want.
‘They should not keep changing goalposts,” he said.
Azmin warns against betrayal
“I don’t know what would be the party’s next course of action but PAS should respect the decision taken in the last muktamar which is to strengthen the Pakatan coalition,” he said.
He added that unity talks were an act of treachery to the people who voted for Pakatan in the last general election.
However Deputy Umno Youth chief Razali Ibrahim did not feel that this was PAS’ internal matter. He instead said Nasharuddin should just join Umno.
“Our doors are always open for anyone to join us… in Nasharuddin’s case, he is someone with strong leadership and is an exemplary person,” he said.
“Of course we welcome him… Nik Aziz’s statement is unfortunate. Nasharuddin is someone who is truly honest in his struggle,” he added.