PAS-Umno cooperation to continue in Semenyih, Khairy says

HULU LANGAT: Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin says he is confident that PAS will continue to support the party in the upcoming Semenyih polls as it did in the Cameron Highlands by-election last month.

“From what I observe, in terms of machinery, everything is moving as planned.

“The cooperation between us and PAS continues from Cameron Highlands. Even tonight, a representative from PAS who was our candidate’s nominator is here with me,” he told reporters after a ceramah at Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Sg Lalang operations centre last night.

“From what I understand, we are planning to hold a mega ceramah where both BN and PAS top leaders will share the stage. Let’s wait and see,” he added.

On Feb 16, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said PAS had formally stated that it would not support Umno in the Semenyih by-election on March 2.

He said the matter was raised in discussions between him and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, with a written admission by Hadi towards this end.

The following day, however, PAS election director Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar denied the claim, saying the party had only promised to support Mahathir when it came to promoting the Malay-Muslim agenda.

“It has nothing to do with the Semenyih by-election,” he said.

On Wednesday, meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa said PAS’ commitment to supporting BN in Semenyih was stronger than it had been in Cameron Highlands.

On BN’s victory in Cameron Highlands, Khairy said the coalition had done well, receiving similar levels of support from all its strongholds.

“But what was sweetest was that our highest votes came from the youth.

“This shows that the young voters are beginning to come to their senses, and that Pakatan Harapan (PH) never meant to fulfil the promises it made before the general election,” he said.

He said young voters had hoped that PH would solve their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan woes, only to find that they were now worse off than ever.

“When BN was in power, we allowed students to convert their loans into scholarships. If they did well, they did not need to repay their loans.

“Even this, the PH government has taken away from the students,” he told a crowd of about 200 people.

He also criticised Budget 2019 which he called the “biggest spending” budget ever announced.

“The government said the country has a lot of debts, and that it doesn’t have enough money to spend on subsidies.

“But Budget 2019 tells us that the government still has a lot of money. If they have so much, why take away aid for the fishermen, the youth, the poor, the Felda settlers, padi farmers and smallholders? Where has the money gone?”