Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has branded PAS a “political prostitute” that must be defeated in the coming 15th general election.
In an interview with The Malaysian Insight, the 12-term Gua Musang MP, known as Ku Li, said PAS’ actions in previous by-elections have shown how the party could not be trusted to help Umno, even as partners in the Muafakat Nasional pact and the Bersatu-led Perikatan Nasional federal government.
“Even in the Tanjung Piai by-election, when they were already with us, they did not vote for us.
“PAS has about 3,000 members in Tanjung Piai but not even 1,000 of them voted for us. They are not trustworthy allies. Not even in Semenyih.
“PAS is like a prostitute – going back and forth between DAP and Semangat 46,” the former Semangat 46 president said in reference to the short-lived party he helmed in the late 1980s before returning to Umno’s fold in 1996.
Razaleigh founded Semangat 46 after the Umno 1988 constitutional crisis sparked by his failed bid to challenge former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s faction for control of the party.
At the time, he and his team of ousted Umno leaders in Semangat 46 had forged an alliance with PAS under the Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah banner for the 1990 general election.
At the same time, Semangat 46 also had a second alliance with DAP and Parti Rakyat Malaysia dubbed Gagasan Rakyat.
“We (Umno) have always fought PAS. The party has been a pain since its inception in 1951,” he was quoted as saying.
“PAS has been troubling Umno since. Even today, they are troubling Umno. It’s nothing new,” he added.
In GE14, Razaleigh claimed PAS had regained control of Terengganu only because of public sentiments towards an Islamist party, and also because it benefited from former Umno president Najib Abdul Razak’s “mistake” to agree to three-cornered fights against Pakatan Harapan.
The Malaysian Insight further quoted Razaleigh as dismissing the idea of partial cooperation between Umno and PAS in GE15.
“We cannot agree because you cannot have half-baked strategies where you accept three-cornered fights here and straight fights there.
“I advocate that we fight PAS (in the next election),” said the Umno leadership council adviser.
Umno has declared that it would contest against Bersatu in GE15, but party secretary-general Ahmad Maslan on Wednesday said seat negotiations were ongoing with PAS to avoid any clashes between the two parties.
According to The Malaysian Insight, Razaleigh said Umno will not give the ruling party led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin a free pass in any seats, particularly those currently held by former Umno MPs who defected after GE14.
“Bersatu is a new party without a following. In Gua Musang, it has only four or five people.
“Even (Bersatu secretary-general) Hamzah Zainudin hasn’t got a base and as such, he has to contest in Larut as he cannot contest in Ipoh,” said Ku Li.
“As for (Jeli MP) Mustapa Mohamed, we are taking it back. We are going to fight there. PAS is strong there, but we have defeated them before.
“It’s easier to fight Bersatu than PAS. But they (Bersatu) want PAS to help them and they were hoping to get Umno to help them, too.
“It would be a shoo-in for them if they were to get Umno’s help. But I don’t think we want to give in to traitors,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan said Razaleigh had gone overboard with his “political prostitute” jibe against PAS, describing the use of such language as “inappropriate”.
“The politics that we are bringing must be healthy and civilised politics.
“The political prostitute label is highly inappropriate,” he said in a Facebook post today. – Malaysiakini