PETALING JAYA: Amanah is inviting PAS members and leaders to join the party, days after the Islamist party’s president, Abdul Hadi Awang, withdrew a defamation suit against the editor of a whistleblower site.
Amanah president Mohamad Sabu says the time has come for PAS members to jump ship and claimed that many leaders from Amanah, including himself, had received messages from PAS members unhappy with Hadi’s decision.
On Saturday, it was reported that Hadi had agreed to settle his defamation suit against Clare Rewcastle-Brown, who runs Sarawak Report, out of court.
The Marang MP agreed to undisclosed terms of a settlement with the London-based journalist.
Rewcastle-Brown, in her article published by Sarawak Report in August 2017, among others, had suggested that senior PAS leaders could have received RM90 million from Najib.
“For PAS members, it was a U-turn, one they cannot accept following the constant denials by their party leaders,” Mohamad, a former PAS deputy president, said in a statement.
The defence minister, better known as Mat Sabu, also said PAS’ decision to withdraw the suit confirmed the “secret relationship” between PAS and Umno.
“The changes PAS had been yearning for in the past few decades have been delayed as some leaders have been in cahoots with a rival party,” Mohamad said.
Ties between Umno and PAS have grown warmer after the May 9 polls, with the two parties backing each other in recent by-elections and sharing the stage on several occasions.
Mohamad went on to say that the party would welcome PAS members with open arms.
“We may have clashed before, but we hold no grudges against PAS members who want to defect.”
Following the settling of the suit, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said there was no issue with the original article remaining online in Sarawak Report because it had no impact on the party.
He said the allegations by her had not dented support for the party.
“If you look at the GE14 results, PAS not only retained Kelantan, but also won Terengganu. This proves that the lies did not influence voters,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim and several PAS leaders said the decision to enter into an out-of-court settlement with Rewcastle-Brown was due to the high legal costs involved, adding that the party felt the millions of ringgit could be put to better use.
Najib yesterday denied he had paid RM90 million to Hadi, stating the authorities had already scrutinised his bank accounts as well as those belonging to Umno.
“If it’s true that there had been payments from me or Umno, the Pakatan Harapan government would definitely have taken the opportunity to freeze the bank accounts of PAS and its president.”