KUALA NERUS, Sept 16 — Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang explained today that PAS would need to hold a special muktamar, or congress, before any move to cement an official collaboration with former rivals Umno.
The PAS president said the matter would need to be carefully reviewed by its advisory Syura Council and political bureau, before decided by delegates in the special meeting.
“It is a major issue, just like when during the times of Tun Abdul Razak following the May 13 incident, when we were invited to join a unity government,” Hadi said after the conclusion of the 64th PAS muktamar here.
“We will do a special muktamar. It has been done before,” he added.
PAS joined the Alliance party in 1972, and subsequently Barisan Nasional (BN) the next year until 1978. Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was the prime minister then.
Earlier, deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, in his winding up speech, had said that PAS will never become a “buoy for sinners” — referring to Umno — but a “buoy” to save Malaysians.
“Some are concerned about a PAS-Umno collaboration. We will not be lumped together with sinners. Because it is Islam that will save us and so we invite the people to join us for success here and the hereafter,” he said.
Hadi also highlighted that PAS delegates were largely receptive to the idea of cooperating with Umno, despite media speculation that it will cause dissension among rank-and-file members.
“The media said the cooperation would be a hot issue, but suddenly, it was not.
“As it stands, we are not in a rush [to cooperate with Umno] and will evaluate the situation from time to time,” the Marang MP added.
When asked if he will return the favour and attend Umno’s annual general assembly later this month, Hadi said it will depend on his health.
“Plus, I also have prior engagements abroad which I must consider as well. But I have received Umno’s invitation, and the other party leaders will definitely be in attendance,” he said.