Talks with PAS: Easier to deal with a hypocrite and Umno

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PETALING JAYA: PPBM supreme council member Tariq Ismail has rejected a call for the continuation of talks between Pakatan Harapan and PAS, saying it is easier to talk to a hypocrite and to Umno.

“When it comes to talking with PAS leaders, you won’t know what you are are going to get, and they themselves do not know what they want,” he said in an interview with FMT.

He likened PAS leaders to flirtatious girls who would encourage suitors but would not make a commitment.

“The PAS leadership is acting like an overhyped pretty high school girl who teases everyone,” he said.

He was responding to activist lawyer S Ambiga, who recently urged PH to continue talking to PAS to minimise three-cornered fights in the coming general election.

Tariq said he too would love to have PAS work with PH, but he added that the chances were slim that the Islamist party would agree to cooperate to defeat Barisan Nasional.

“In fact, it’s easier talking to a munafiq and Umno than talking to PAS,” he said. “With the former, at least you know what you are getting.”

“Munafiq” is Arabic for “hypocrite”. It is a religiously loaded word.

Tariq said the wishes of the public were more important than what politicians wanted. “It’s about what the people want, and they want a change. The best alternative is PH. If you want this country to slide down further into the abyss, then join BN.”

He said PAS could either “get off the pony it thinks is a horse” and join PH or “still get off the pony and join the four horsemen of BN”.

He claimed that PH, with former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad leading it, could “correct many wrongs and correct the system” by making sure that the separate branches of government serve as check-and-balance mechanisms.

Another PPBM supreme council member, Rais Hussin, said PAS had been consistent only in “being inconsistent with its political leanings”.

PH could no longer wait for it to make up its mind, he added.