PETALING JAYA: PAS today laid down some conditions for any cooperation with Umno, including for the Barisan Nasional (BN) component to champion the rights of all races instead of just the Malays.
This comes after former prime minister Najib Razak told FMT that the decision to approach PAS before the May 9 polls was a political tactic which took into account the increasing conservatism among Malays in the country who continued to support PAS.
But PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said his party had been misinterpreted as fighting only for the rights of Malays when in reality they were fighting for the rights of all.
“Umno’s fight is for the Malays while MIC’s fight is for the Indians. MCA fights for the rights of the Chinese.
“But the issue of poverty, for instance, cannot be fought based on race. It cuts across all races. We need to look at such issues as Malaysians,” he said, giving the example of Kelantan where he said the needs of all were addressed regardless of race, including the minority Thai and Indian communities.
He said PAS maintained its stand that it would run the country based on Islamic principles which safeguards the rights of all.
Seri Setia by-election a litmus test for PAS-Umno
Umno has agreed to deploy its election machinery to assist PAS throughout the 21-day campaign period for the Seri Setia by-election.
Umno had agreed to make way for the Islamist party in the by-election to reciprocate PAS’ decision to skip the Sungai Kandis by-election earlier this month.
It also pledged to go “all out” to campaign for PAS in Seri Setia, where the by-election will be held on Sept 8.
However, Tuan Ibrahim said PAS would adopt a “wait and see” approach to see if the support would translate into votes.
“There are a lot of Umno supporters in Seri Setia,” he said. “So far, we are happy with their support but whether it will translate into votes, we are not sure.
“If we get big support from Umno members in Seri Setia, then we can discuss our conditions with Umno for the sake of the country. (But) Umno must change if they want to work closely with us.”
For now, Tuan Ibrahim said, PAS had yet to receive any official request from Umno to work together.
He said for now, the Islamist party would continue to work with Umno on selected issues with the agreement of all.