KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — PAS today confirmed it has thrown its support behind the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad until the next general election.
Its secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said in a statement after the party’s central committee meeting in Marang, that PAS had issued a document expressing the party’s commitment to Dr Mahathir.
“The written declaration in the form of a sample was given as a commitment of PAS support for the leadership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the basis of protecting the interest of religion, country and the nation until the 15th general election,” he said.
This comes after the prime minister sprung a surprise this morning when he revealed that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had stated in writing that the Islamist party will not support Umno in the Semenyih by-election.
Takiyuddin pointed out that the circumstances surrounding Semenyih were different from that during the Cameron Highlands by-election.
“PAS stated its stand not to contest in the Semenyih by-election and gave way to the candidate from the opposition, Barisan Nasional, with a different level of commitment and involvement from the Cameron Highlands by-election.
“This is consistent with PAS which puts the interest of Islam and the Malay community above all else, apart from PAS maintaining a relationship with Umno on the grounds of Ummah unity and solidarity among the opposition.
“An agreement has also been reached to establish better co-operation based on the spirit of federalism between the Federal Government and the Kelantan and Terengganu State Governments, particularly in terms of administration, development and granting of royalties,’’ Takiyuddin said, referring to the PAS-controlled states.
Earlier today, Dr Mahathir said PAS’s backing of Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) during the Cameron Highlands by-election was due to a DAP candidate being fielded there.
“I have to say the truth. Hadi, Takiyuddin and Samsuri confessed (to me) that they will not support Umno this time (in Semenyih polls) because Umno’s opponent is not from DAP. They supported Umno in Cameron Highlands because the candidate was from DAP, so they supported Umno.
“This time the fight isn’t with DAP but with PPBM and they said they won’t support but they also said they don’t want to declare it. But after I heard their denials, I was forced to speak up on what really happened.
“What really happened was they admitted that they are not supporting Umno, PPBM or PH and their leaders won’t show their support.
“But as we can see, their leaders attend (Umno’s ceramah) too,” said Dr Mahathir.