KUALA NERANG: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be given the opportunity to continue to administer the country until the end of his five-year term, said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
He said efforts by some quarters, including PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim, to take over the premiership, was an act not in accordance with political morals.
“We do not want a person with lust to rule for fear that when he/she becomes a leader, the person does not shoulder the responsibility entrusted upon him/her.
“So, let the present prime minister administer the country for as long as he can perform the task.
“Even though there is a difference in opinion, Tun Dr Mahathir should be given enough time because he has vast experience and is capable of discharging his duties,” he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the convocation ceremony of Kolej Islam Darul Ulum (Kidu) here today.
Asked whether PAS would cooperate with Umno in the Port Dickson by-election, Hadi said the cooperation would be similar to that during the Balakong and Seri Setia by-elections.
“When Umno does not place its candidate, PAS will … that is cooperation.
“In terms of strategy, we don’t know yet, but if Umno wants to help, we will gladly accept, even if it wants to give donations,” he added.
The Port Dickson by-election will witness a seven-cornered fight, with Anwar leading the cast as the Pakatan Harapan candidate.
Former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohd Isa Abd Samad and Anwar’s former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, are also vying for the parliamentary seat.
The others are PAS candidate Lt Col (Rtd) Mohd Nazari Mokhtar and three other independent candidates — Lau Seck Yan, social media personality Stevie Chan Kee Leong and Kan Chee Yen.
The Port Dickson by-election was called after its incumbent, Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, 68, from PKR, vacated the seat on Sept 12 to give way to Anwar who wants to make a comeback to the Dewan Rakyat.
In the 14th general election on May 9, Danyal won the seat with a comfortable majority of 17,710 votes, defeating Barisan Nasional’s VS Mogan and Mahfuz Roslan of PAS.
The Election Commission has set Oct 13 as polling day for the Port Dickson by-election and Oct 9 for early voting.
In another development, Hadi said he was against the government’s decision to close unregistered tahfiz schools operating illegally in the country.
He said the government should provide the necessary assistance for the schools to continue to operate.
“The government wants to close the schools because they are illegal… why are they illegal? If they are illegal because they have no licence, it is wrong to close them because they were set up with good intentions.”