After polls, ousted PAS conservative moots merger again with Umno

12 May

By Clara Chooi,
Assistant News Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — National reconciliation post-Election 2013 must begin with the Malays first, maverick PAS politician Nasharuddin Mat Isa said today as he moved again to revive unity talks between the Islamist party and ruling Umno. 

The PAS conservative, who was edged out by the party’s progressives during thei 2011 internal polls, insisted that negotiation to unite both warring Malay-centric parties must be continued for the sake of strengthening Islam and the position of the Malay race in the country. 

“To me, the unity of PAS and Uno must be a continuing agenda. I only cannot accept it when what is being pursued in the unity between PAS and Umno, there are those who say their face should be spat on…. what religious teaching is this?” he was quoted saying by state news agency Bernama today. 

Nasharuddin (picture), the prime mover behind the early talks of a possible unity government between PAS and Umno, reportedly added that the difference of views between the two parties were not important as both struggles are founded on the pursuit of protecting Islam and Malay rights. 

“The question is whether we should wait for complete destruction before we speak of consolidation, like elsewhere in the Muslim world. 

“After destruction, it comes back to ‘ground zero’ and only then, there is awareness of the need for unity,” he was quoted as saying in Bernama. 

Nasharuddin, who was left out of the recent polls race, added that from his experience, “not all in Umno are demons, and not all in PAS are angels.” 

The former Bachok MP was just earlier this year sacked from the PAS Syura Council, the party’s highest decision-making wing, following his numerous open spats with fellow Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, particularly, the DAP’s chairman Karpal Singh, on his party’ endorsement of the Hudud law. 

When confirming the expulsion late January this year, Syura Council secretary Datuk Nik Zawawi Nik Salleh had said Nasharudin was found to have broken several of the body’s regulations including non-attendance of council meetings. 

Nasharudin had also previously asked the party to review its co-operation with other PR parties if coalition partner DAP continued to oppose the implementation of hudud laws, the Islamic penal code. 

His actions have drawn the criticism of other PAS members and during the party’s 2011 polls, he flunked his bid to defend his post as PAS deputy president and was replaced by Mohamad Sabu, seen as a leader in the party’s faction of progressives.



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