PETALING JAYA, Sept 15 — PAS delegates spoke tentatively of the party’s growing ties with former rival Umno, but conceded the cooperation was needed for Malay-Muslim unity.
During the debate on the presidential policy speech at 64th PAS Muktamar today, Selangor delegate Zamri Zainuddin said the Islamist party’s members must guide Umno counterparts back to the right path.
“For the sake of the unity of the ummah and political cooperation, we must reach out to Umno as they seem to be in disarray now.
“They have shown their eagerness to help us, which was evident at the Seri Setia by-election. They were on the ground helping as best they could in the campaign and during nomination to show their support,’’ he said.
Umno’s leadership attended in numbers at their former rival’s event today, led by president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Others present include vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid along with secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, information chief Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah and delegations from the party’s youth and women wing.
PAS Supporters Club delegate Lau Chin Chua urged the party to be wary in defending Umno, and said this should not extend to those accused of corruption.
“Remember, Umno has fallen because their leaders are not faithful in carrying out duties as administrators of this country. Many of its leaders are involved in corruption.
“Even if we are being cordial with them, we cannot defend those who are involved in corruption. Wrong is still wrong. Those are guilty must be punished. We cannot sympathise with them,’’ he said.
Penang delegate Yusni Mat Piah said despite the Islamist party’s past “mistreatment” by Barisan Nasional, he was willing to work with Umno for Islam’s sake.
“How could we forget about past transgression when our leaders were detained under the ISA (Internal Security Act), our volunteers were beaten and the huge gaping wound left by the 1985 Memali incident.
“Even with such wounds, PAS still maintain an open arm for the sake of the survival of Islam,’’ said Yunus, who is also the son of one of the victims who perished in the Memali incident.