SERDANG: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken a dig at PAS for seeking to work with Umno despite describing its members as infidels in the past.
Mahathir said PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang used to call Umno members infidels because the party worked with non-Muslim parties in Barisan Nasional (BN), but was now “allowing PAS members to become infidels” themselves by partnering with Umno in Muafakat Nasional (MN).
“I find PAS’ actions peculiar because it’s different from its previous stand,” the Pejuang chairman said at a press conference.
“Last time, PAS accused Umno members of being infidels and other things. But, without denying that Umno is an infidel party, it means they are now working with infidels.
“PAS is opportunistic. When they see an opportunity, they put aside their principles. However, they say that they struggle for Islam, that they cannot work with infidels or they themselves will become infidels.”
Yesterday, Hadi claimed that Pakatan Harapan (PH) was a coalition that gave and took bribes, adding that those in the coalition were immoral and not religious.
In response, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said PAS under Hadi’s leadership was a different party from the one led by its past leaders.
The PKR president said the views of the late Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Fadzil Noor would have differed from Hadi, and pointed out that the current PAS president had branded Umno members as infidels in the past.
Nik Aziz was PAS’ spiritual leader from 1995 until his death in February 2015, and Fadzil, who died in 2002, was Hadi’s immediate predecessor.
Separately, asked if the Pejuang-led Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) would work with PH in the next general election (GE15), Mahathir simply said it would not work with the corrupt or those who formed a backdoor government.
He was alluding to Perikatan Nasional (PN), which was formed by his former party Bersatu and PAS, and which joined forces with BN to topple the PH government in February 2020.
GTA comprises Malay-based parties, NGOs, academics and professionals, Pejuang, Berjasa, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) and the National Indian Muslim Alliance Party (Iman).
Mahathir also said that many had urged him to become prime minister for a third time, though he has yet to make any decision on this matter.
“I have neither rejected nor accepted (their proposals),” he said.
Mahathir first became prime minister in 1981 and went on to become the longest-serving prime minister, leading the nation until 2003.
He helmed the government again after PH won GE14 in 2018, though his second tenure only lasted 22 months. He quit following Bersatu’s exit from PH.