Kit Siang: Najib, Zahid or Hadi? Who is PAS-Umno’s PM pick?

Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (left) greets Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the PAS Muktamar in Kuala Terengganu September 15, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak
Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (left) greets Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the PAS Muktamar in Kuala Terengganu September 15, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang suggested today that the formal alliance between PAS and Umno might be a vehicle for the disgraced Datuk Seri Najib Razak to plot his return to power.

The DAP stalwart questioned who among the two Opposition parties’ leaders would become prime minister in the event they win the 15th general election, noting that Umno’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and PAS’ Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang were also prominent leaders.

“Will it be Datuk Seri Najib Razak again, with his 43 corruption charges, hanging over his head and his notoriety as a global kleptocrat, saving him from spending the rest of his life in Sungai Buloh Prison?” Lim said in a statement today.

Lim pointedly asked if the formal union between PAS and Umno tomorrow was to pave the way for Malaysia’s return to the days of Barisan Nasional rule, with Tan Sri Apandi Alias as attorney general and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho returning in a “blaze of glory”.

He also painted an alternative of a Malaysia governed by Hadi, under whom PAS asserted that supporting a corrupt Muslim was preferable to backing “a clean, honest and non-corrupt non-Muslim leader”.

Lim also accused Hadi of working with Umno to spread lies, fake news as well as racial and religious strife.

“As a result, are we having Shariah-compliant lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech?” Lim said.

As for Zahid, Lim highlighted that the Umno president has the ignominy of being the former government leader with the most number of criminal charges against him at the moment.

Dubbing the former deputy prime minister the “King of Corruption”, Lim reminded Malaysians that Zahid was facing 87 separate counts of money laundering, corruption and abuse.

“So who is the prime ministerial candidate for the PAS-Umno alliance of klepto-theocracy — Najib again or Hadi or Zahid?” Lim asked.

“Or they don’t dare to talk about it and want to continue to mislead the people of Malaysia?”

Umno is hosting PAS in an unprecedented event at the Malay nationalist party’s Putra World Trade Centre headquarters for a massive rally this weekend, ostensibly to unite the country’s Muslims. 

During the event, the two former rivals are also expected to sign a charter that will formalise their nascent political alliance.

The cooperation of the country’s two largest Malay-Muslim parties is fuelling concerns of increased racial and religious polarisation in Malaysia.