PETALING JAYA: A PAS leader today denied Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that the party signed a declaration that it would not back Umno in the Semenyih by-election next month.
Sinar Harian quoted the party’s election director Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar as saying the claim by Mahathir, who is also the Pakatan Harapan chairman, was part of the latter’s mind games in the run-up to the March 2 polls.
Samsuri said PAS merely promised to support Mahathir when it came to promoting the Malay-Muslim agenda.
“It has nothing to do with the Semenyih by-election.
“Our support is the same as the one we gave when the prime minister decided against ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” the Malay daily quoted him as saying.
Earlier today, Mahathir reiterated that PAS had said it would not back Umno in the Semenyih by-election.
This followed what he claimed were denials that the party would not work with Umno in the polls.
He explained that PAS’ undertaking for not supporting Umno this time around was because the PH candidate going up against Barisan Nasional was not from DAP.
“I have to speak the truth. Hadi (PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang), Takiyuddin (party secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan) and Terengganu MB Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar had themselves told me they will not back Umno as their opponent this time is not from DAP,” he said.
Mahathir said while the trio had said they would not back Umno, they did not want to make a declaration.
“However, when I heard the denials, then I have to say what actually happened, and what actually happened is their admission that they would not support Umno.”