KUALA KRAI, July 8 — Pakatan Rakyat last night taunted Umno for merely delaying its fifth consecutive electoral defeat in Peninsular Malaysia since Election 2008 and a further step towards the end of Barisan Nasional’s rule.
In the headlining ceramah of the Manek Urai campaign so far, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim joined Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and influential state executive councillor Datuk Husam Musa in attacking Umno’s credentials as a Muslim party while cajoling villagers in Chuchuh Puteri to be a milestone in its march towards forming the federal government.
“Umno did not contest in Penanti because they were afraid to lose a fifth by-election. If this happens, then Malaysian would know that BN is finished.
“But they think that they can convince Manek Urai with ‘instant noodles’,” Husam said of sudden development projects which have always mushroomed during by-elections.
The former PAS vice-president also said that Manek Urai would be one of the final steps towards an imminent change of government after earlier steps in the four by-elections that Pakatan had won previously.
“Malaysians have already rejected Umno on March 8,” Anwar added on, referring to the 12th general election.
“Why are they being busybodies in Manek Urai? They should follow what they said about Penanti and focus on economic problems. They are clearly trying to prove that Malays still support them,” the de facto PKR leader said.
“But Malays have chosen not to follow Umno because of policies that betray Malays, Chinese and Indians,” he told a crowd of about 4,000.
The former deputy prime minister, on the night before his sodomy trial which he claims is politically motivated, added that it was Pakatan mentris besar such as Nik Aziz, Selangor’s Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Kedah’s Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak and, until recently, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin in Perak who had now become Islamic leaders due to their fairness to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Nik Aziz also repeated his charge that Umno has rejected Islam by embracing racial politics.
“If al-Arqam and Ayah Pin were deviant teachings, then Umno is also deviant as it has rejected Islamic governance,” the PAS spiritual leader said, referring to the two Islamic cults that have been outlawed in Malaysia.
The influential cleric also questioned why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not want to debate with him on Umno’s stand on Islamic policies.
Nik Aziz had sent a letter inviting the Umno president to a debate following the police report lodged by Kelantan Umno Youth claiming that the Kelantan MB had committed sedition for likening Umno to communism and deviant teaching.