SHAH ALAM: The two largest Malay-based parties, PAS and Umno, today sealed their cooperation by officially endorsing the PAS candidate contesting the Seri Setia state by-election, Dr Halimah Ali.
The announcement was made by PAS election director Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir in the presence of Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Selangor PAS commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi and several other state leaders from the two parties.
Roslan said there was no longer any need to support the candidates of either party “stealthily”.
“Together with us today is our candidate Dr Halimah Ali, who is standing on the PAS ticket and supported by Umno.
“This political phenomenon is historic in Malaysia as, for the first time, PAS and Umno have agreed to endorse a single candidate.
“We hope this event will be concluded with the victory of the PAS candidate,” he told reporters at the Selangor PAS headquarters.
He said the cooperation has been widely criticised but it is meant to defend the future well-being of Muslims, the race and the nation.
Roslan said the cooperation of the two parties would continue in other by-elections as well.
“Our ties with Umno are vital to rebuild the strength of the Malays and for our religion,” he added.
The by-election is a straight fight between Halimah and Pakatan Harapan’s Halimey Abu Bakar.
It is being held following the death of its incumbent, Shaharuddin Badaruddin, from colon cancer on Aug 2. Polling is this Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ismail said Umno will invite PAS to send observers to attend the Umno general assembly to be held at the Putra World Trade Centre later this month to build on their cooperation.
Umno, he added, will also attend the PAS muktamar in Terengganu next week if invited.
“Umno will surely attend the muktamar if invited, and the PAS deputy president (Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man) has indicated to me that his party will attend the Umno assembly if it is invited.
“Therefore, I will announce here that Umno will definitely invite PAS to our assembly and I believe PAS will invite Umno to their muktamar,” he said.
Ismail said the issue of ties between the two parties and the direction forward would likely be discussed at their respective assemblies.
Last week, Tuan Ibrahim said PAS was considering sending observers to the Umno assembly.