Sunday, May 1, 2011

PAS shoots down Najib’s invitation

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani and G. ManimaranApril 30, 2011

Khalid said the DAP has never been against Islam. — KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — PAS leaders were amused today and ridiculed the invitation by Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the party to ditch Pakatan Rakyat (PR) by joining the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

The prime minister earlier said that PAS must work together with Umno for the sake of the Malay and Muslim community, telling the Islamist party that it could not achieve its aim while partnering with the DAP.

Why play nice with DAP? Does DAP champion Islam?” Najib asked in Kuala Terengganu today.

Najib’s invitation follows a call last weekend by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite the Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by the DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad bluntly told The Malaysian Insider that Najib was crazy and could no longer think properly.

He (Najib) is becoming crazy and has run out of ideas. He is no longer making sense. I really do not know what to say about his comments. He is very confused. I think this is a sign that they are facing an internal problem especially with (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) contradicting everything he does.

“And since when did DAP declare that they were championing Islam?” he said.

The PAS central committee member added that the DAP has never obstructed the teachings of Islam compared to Umno that wants to confuse Muslims with its brand of the religion.

“DAP has always supported PAS in its efforts to bring Muslims to the teachings of Islam.

“But Umno wants to pollute Islam with their practice of sumpah laknat oath and falsely accuse someone of committing extra-marital sex without four witnesses,” he said.

Khalid added that the DAP has never been against Islam and its struggles are in line with Islamic teachings of forbidding corruption and cronyism.

Salahuddin reiterated PAS’s loyalty to PR.PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub was more courteous, thanking Najib for the invitation but reiterated his party’s loyalty to PR.

“Thank you for the invitation but we will remain loyal to Pakatan Rakyat and will not leave the spirit of solidarity that has been formed with PKR and DAP.

“However I think the invitation is a desperate attempt by Najib. I am not surprised with this invitation,” he said.

Salahuddin added that PR’s common platform has ensured that Islam remains the religion of the federation.

Najib’s invitation continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.

The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders keen on exploring talks with Umno emerging big winners.

More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was once again broached.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into the BN entailed both PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon PR, but spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.

Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi reassured his partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.

PAS strategist Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad stressed that PAS will never succumb to Umno’s narrow interpretation of Islam.

“Umno’s Malay supremacy and narrow interpretation that Malay is Islam is against PAS’s principle that Islam is universal, meant for all races.



Dzulkefly said Umno has given Islam a bad image.“Umno has given a bad image to Islam and PAS must continue to ensure that the religion is safeguarded. PAS cannot accept Umno’s exploitation of the name Allah and barring non-Muslims from entering mosques,” he said.

He added Umno together with Perkasa and its ultra-Malay members have a very extreme understanding of Islam.

“PAS will not give a lifeline to Umno and its fight for Malay supremacy. Umno only wants to represent the Malays while PAS will fight for Islam, Malays, Chinese, Indians and other communities in the country,” said the Kuala Selangor MP.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insider last year, Nik Aziz also said there was no possibility of PAS working with Umno or joining BN.

“Absolutely not. There is no way that PAS would even consider unity talks with Umno,” he had said.

He recounted how PAS had in the past briefly joined BN and that it resulted in a divided PAS.

According to Nik Aziz, back in 1971 PAS had joined BN’s bandwagon when the late Tun Abdul Razak — Najib’s father — extended an invitation to the Islamist party.

“Umno was desperate back then, especially after the May 13 riots in 1969. When PAS joined BN, PAS Kelantan was split into four groups, and we were not united because each group supported a different idea,” he said.

Nik Aziz pointed out that Umno eventually “kicked PAS out” of the BN coalition.

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