KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 ― PAS leaders today rejected Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s description of the party as warming to collaboration with his Umno, with one saying the Umno president must have been dreaming.
PAS vice-president Datuk Iskandar Samad said that Umno has done too many “unforgivable” things for his party members to even consider co-operating with the Malay nationalist party.
“Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s remark that PAS is ready to work with Umno is a dream. He ought to wake up from that dream and solve his party's internal conflict first,” Iskandar said in a statement.
“Umno will always turn to PAS when they are pressured. But they have committed too many 'sins' for the grassroot members to forgive Umno.”
Among others, he cited Putrajaya’s continued denial of oil royalty payments to the PAS-ruled Kelantan as well as a similar withholding when the Islamist party briefly won power in Terengganu.
He also claimed that PAS members and their families were denied aid or allocation even though they were legitimate citizens of Malaysia.
Separately, PAS Ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohammad denied that abstinence by his party’s lawmakers during voting on Budget 2016 was indication of PAS’s readiness to collaborate with Umno as stated by Najib.
“We are open-minded and rational, we abstain from voting as we see something positive and negative on the Budget. But when we abstained from voting, we did not mean to say we want to work with Umno,” he told Malay Mail Online via a text message.
“PAS abstaining from voting on the Budget has nothing to do with wanting to work with Umno; these are two very different issues.”
Earlier today, Bernama reported Najib as saying that PAS has shown encouraging signs of possible collaboration with Umno, citing some of its recent actions that he interpreted as supportive of Umno.
The national news agency quoted the Umno president as saying that one such signal was when PAS MPs did not vote against the Supply Bill 2016 at the Dewan Rakyat on November 16, which he said was an encouraging sign towards cooperation between the two Malay parties.
“In voting for the Budget, they abstained from voting against the budget. Although they did not vote in our favour, they did not reject it either.
“These are encouraging signs to me,” he said in an interview with a private television station last night.
Former ally DAP has repeatedly accused PAS of planning to tie up with Umno for a so-called “Unity Government”.