KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 ― PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan showed up for an MCA ceramah in Taman Tun Perak last night to campaign for the Barisan Nasional (BN) party’s candidate in the Balakong by-election.
Several news outlets reported that it was Takiyuddin’s first time stumping for the BN Chinese component despite the 21-day campaign period and PAS’ previous promise of support before voters go to the polls this Saturday.
News portal Malaysiakini reported MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong saying his party had not invited Takiyuddin to attend its ceramah last night, which drew about 20 people.
On stage, the Kota Baru MP was reported emphasising the need for check and balance against the new Pakatan Harapan government.
“Our country has faced a political tsunami, and it brought the change of government, from the federal level to the states. We changed it from BN to Pakatan Harapan.
“Many had thought that Pakatan Harapan will be a good government, reliable government and a government that brings hopes. But, it’s actually the government that has no hope and is destroying the people’s hopes,” Takiyuddin was quoted saying.
Malaysiakini reported Takiyuddin explaining PAS’ late appearance in the Balakong campaign trail as due to campaigning for its own candidate in Seri Setia, which is also holding a concurrent by-election following the death of its assemblyman.
He pledged that his Islamist party will dedicate its limited resource to help MCA from this juncture till polling day, in the spirit of solidarity as announced previously by his party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
“Tonight is a healthy start,” Takiyuddin was quoted telling reporters when asked about forming a permanent relationship with its former BN foes MCA and MIC.
Both BN components have for long been opposed to PAS’ ideological fight to implement strict Shariah criminal punishments, known as hudud, in the country.
The two sides appear to have set aside their differences for now in their collaboration against their common enemy, the ruling PH coalition.
Takiyuddin was reported to have addressed the issue last night, saying that PAS’s ideological stance would not change even if it supports MCA, as the Islamist party would continue to provide explanations to address non-Muslim misgivings about hudud.
“This is a Muslim (affair). Nothing to do with non-Muslims,” he was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.
MCA is fielding Tan Chee Teong against Wong Siew Ki from PH. Early polling took place yesterday and the main polling is this Saturday.