PAS and Ikatan form Gagasan Sejahtera

PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, August 13 — PAS and Ikatan formally announced today the establishment of a political pact called Gagasan Sejahtera (Gagasan), but said it would still be open to cooperation with other parties including Pakatan Harapan.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said while Gagasan exists to provide an “alternative avenue” for voters “bored” of the existing political dichotomy, it was still open to the idea of engaging all parties, especially on the matter of seat allocations.

“The elections is far away. No candidates are announced yet. We’ll see,” Abdul Hadi told reporters after announcing the pact’s birth here.

He was pressed to clarify if the establishment of Gagasan meant the pact would engage Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan, which comprises PKR, the DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), in multiple-cornered fights in the 14th general election.

“The new platform is open to all. We welcome anyone (for cooperation) if they agree (with our politics),” the PAS president said.

The opposition votes were split at the recent Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections as they were contested by both Amanah and PAS, giving BN a landslide win.

The defeat prompted talks for a much needed truce, but both sides have so far given mixed signals on whether or not the prospect of cooperation was viable.

Abdul Hadi said today Gagasan is needed as a platform that can provide genuine solutions to the supposed political impasse.

The pact outlined the politics of engagement as the core of its political principles, similar to the new direction adopted by PAS at its recent congress.

“We urge the people to come together and carry with them a new mature political culture and reject a political culture that thrives on corruption and lack of integrity, or a culture that thrives of manipulating sentiments, false perceptions and enmity,” Abdul Hadi said.

Also present at the announcement were Ikatan leaders.

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