PAS now a ‘sophisticated’ and respected party, Umno veep tells Dr M

Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had attempted to forge an alliance with PAS prior to the last general election. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: An Umno vice-president today described PAS as “sophisticated” and respected a day after Dr Mahathir Mohamad recalled the time the Islamist party denounced Umno members as infidels.

Defending the PAS-Umno alliance, Mohamed Khaled Nordin said PAS had recently espoused slogans such as “Islam Untuk Semua” (Islam for all) and “Membangun Bersama Islam” (Progress with Islam).

The party, he added, had become a political movement that commanded respect.

“This is why DAP and PKR had formed an alliance with PAS,” the former Johor menteri besar said in a statement alluding to the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat.

“In fact, Mahathir had attempted to forge an alliance with PAS prior to the previous general election.”

In a blog post criticising the “marriage” between PAS and Umno yesterday, Mahathir, who is also the Pakatan Harapan chairman, recalled the time when the Islamist party not only denounced Umno members as infidels but refused to work with them on grounds that the latter was upholding a secular constitution.

Mahathir also touched on “Amanat Hadi” (the mandate of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang), which had, among other things, questioned Muslims who joined Umno.

Khaled said there was no need for Mahathir to bring up the past, claiming that the Malays had forgotten the narrative.

He said the people were also fed up with the oft-repeated narrative revolving around 1MDB and kleptocracy, especially when issues related to the high cost of living, affordable housing and salaries had not been resolved.

Khaled also said there was now a new narrative: kakistocracy.

“This kakistocracy government led by Mahathir will see the rakyat lose out and cronies profit,” he said.