KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Comments made by the Finance Minister that an Umno and PAS coalition meant “declaring war” on non-Muslims were made out of fear of his own political survival, said Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
The PAS president said the comments, made by Lim Guan Eng who later corrected his statement, showed Lim’s fear and that it was him indirectly admitting that he could no longer demand the political support of the Malays.
“That is him giving into his fears, but to us, we won’t abandon other races,” he said after attending the monthly religious assembly at the Terengganu state secretariat building today.
Malay Mail obtained a recording of his remarks.
He was responding to the remarks made by Lim who accused the “marriage” of Umno and PAS as move to pit the Malays against the non-Malays, worsen race relations, and challenging the rights of non-Malays.
Despite not being triggered, Hadi then elaborated on how PAS were in support of the Jus Soli citizenship awarded to those brought in by the then British colonists, and that non-Malays should instead appreciate being made citizens and given the freedom of religion and language.
“To my knowledge, Indonesia does not allow Chinese schools to be built, Thailand does not allow it also, but in our own home we allow Chinese schools to be opened,” he said.
He then went on to assure the recently christened Umno-PAS pact would oversee the wellbeing of all races, and that his party were open to working on any Malay-based party.
“We found the Malays were divided, and the Chinese were not, and we saw the only Malay parties remaining were Umno and Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia).
“That was why we will cooperate with any Malay party, including Bersatu in the government who we see as a Malay party,” he said.
He denied the pact being a racist alliance, saying it had cooperated with parties such as MIC, saying the issue of racism never arose.
Hadi then expressed optimism over his party’s new alliance, but denied to comment if the alliance could go the distance.
“Things of the future we cannot predict, when the time comes, we will wait and see.
“What is important is that PAS works with Umno and Bersatu, these Malay parties, including those in Gagasan Sejahtera,” he said referring to the informal pact among Islamist opposition parties.