KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Opposition party PAS and controversial Malay rights group Perkasa announced today the start of a formal working relationship with one another, stressing, however that their cooperation would solely focus on current affairs and Muslim unity.

After a formal meeting between the top leaders of both entities, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali told a press conference that his group’s relationship with PAS would not involve politics.

“We have agreed to work together starting from now, and Perkasa hopes PAS would play a proactive role in upholding the unity of Muslims, because the unity of Muslims in Malaysia is the catalyst to uniting the people of Malaysia,” he told the media conference at the PAS headquarters.

“The majority of Malaysians are Malay-Muslims and Bumiputera. If the majority is not united, how are the minorities safe?”

This was then followed by a joint statement by the two organisations read by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The joint statement listed issues that Perkasa and PAS see eye-to-eye on, and also urged for action from the relevant authorities.

Among the issues listed were the call for the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the donation of RM2.6 billion into the prime minister’s personal accounts; the release of lawyer Matthias Chang and ex-Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan from their detentions under Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA); and a call on the government to be transparent on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) agreement.

Ibrahim further stressed that their discussions would not only centre on Islam and Muslims, but will also include matters involving national security as well as issues that affect Malaysians as a whole.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said PAS will continue its discussions with Perkasa on more issues, which were brought up during the two-hour meet but did not reach conclusions.

“We have agreed on these three issues at the very least. There are other matters which we did not make a decision on today but we will bring it forward to future discussions,” he said.

“We start with the first step, and God-willing, after this, for the sake of the nation, for the sake of the people, we will unite with Perkasa to fight for the national agenda, for the common interest of the country.”

Ibrahim had previously declared that Perkasa would shift its support from Umno to PAS should the former not address its issues of leadership confidence and governance under its rule.

He had also projected Perkasa to hit a one million membership count by end of the year, which he claimed could sway the outcome of the next general elections to benefit PAS instead of Umno, should he choose to do so.

PAS, once a member of the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal opposition pact, has since suffered a fallout with its former allies in the DAP.

The Islamist party was not included in the recent launch of Pakatan Harapan, a new pact to replace PR that was formed among DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara, a new party comprising former PAS members.