PAS hit back today at Umno’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi by claiming that it was DAP who first approached the Islamist party to join the unity government with the goal of strengthening its support among the Malay community.
PAS information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin revealed that it was in fact DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang who had made the overture.
He said it was because the newly formed unity government at the time was in a precarious situation and Umno no longer had the support of the Malay community.
“Ahmad Zahid needs to stop his lies as well as his continued deception to cheat Umno members and the people.
“The biggest deception is his propaganda of not associating with DAP and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but had ended up being with the parties that Umno members have loathed for a long time,” said Khairil Nizam in a statement today.
He was responding to Ahmad Zahid, who is also the deputy prime minister, who earlier refuted rumours that the unity government had approached PAS to join the ruling coalition.
Khairil Nizam said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, that PAS is a part of, will continue to take steps to prepare itself as a government that is more professional and attentive to people’s needs compared to the current administration.
Earlier, Ahmad Zahid told reporters in Putrajaya that the invitation for PAS to join the ruling coalition had never been discussed among the 19 leaders in the unity government.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said that he is personally tired of being affiliated with PAS and none of the parties in the ruling coalition trust the Islamist party, saying they had been an untrustworthy political partner.
Yesterday, it was reported that PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had claimed that representatives from the Anwar-led government approached the party to join the ruling coalition.
The statement came after PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang had previously claimed that the party was invited to join the government and leave its partner Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in PN.
Economy Minister and PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli, who was among the three involved in PKR negotiations with coalition partners alongside Anwar and Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, had also denied the rumour.
Previously, it was reported on May 14 that Lim had proposed that the unity government cooperate with PAS ahead of the upcoming state elections.
However, the former Iskandar Puteri MP stressed that the government should only do so when Abdul Hadi ceases hostilities towards Anwar and shows honesty. – MMO