Dr M: With ‘marriage’, has PAS retracted ‘infidel’ tag against Umno?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference after the launch of Metrod Holdings Bhd’s new plant in Klang February 25,2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a press conference after the launch of Metrod Holdings Bhd’s new plant in Klang February 25,2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has lambasted PAS for formalising its collaboration with former rival Umno, pointing to the Islamist party’s previous censure of the latter as secular and “infidels”.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman said PAS pioneers were religious scholars who left Umno for the sake of Islam, and no such collaboration had happened as the splinter party has always considered Umno “infidels”.

“PAS has never retracted the ‘edict’. Has PAS reverted Umno back to Islam?” he asked in a blog post.

Dr Mahathir recalled PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s mandate called “Amanat Hadi” against Umno which led to strife between supporters of the two parties — including the refusal of their supporters to participate in Islamic worship and rituals together.

“Have these restrictions and practices been retracted or instructed to be halted? Have Umno folks accepted that they and PAS were dubbed of different faiths, but these differences have been accepted by both sides?” Dr Mahathir asked.

Yesterday, Umno acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan announced a formalised alliance between his party and PAS, likening it to a “marriage”.

Mohamad had said that the two parties will not be contesting under the same banner, but will work together in an unconditional political cooperation especially for by-elections in the interest of uniting Muslims and Malays.

Instead, Dr Mahathir said the collaboration between the two parties only meant to return Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a political leader and “legitimise” his alleged crimes.

“Has PAS assumed that Najib, who is facing graft and power abuse charges, is innocent?” asked the prime minister.

“Can graft, power abuse and crimes be made ‘halal’ for the sake of Malay and Muslim unity? Is this an ‘obligated’ lie?” he asked, taking a jab at PAS’ previous admission that it lied over an audio recording implying it took money from Umno.

Dr Mahathir also asked if PAS would still accept Najib as its leader if the former Umno president is found guilty of his charges.

“PH is not afraid to see the alliance between PAS and Umno. It raises a lot of issues and the opportunity to reveal that for both parties lying is an obligation for them,” he said.