Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Unity talks only if PKR and DAP included: Mustapha

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS will hold talks on the “unity government” with Umno only if DAP and PKR are included in the process, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said.

He said PAS would not leave its Pakatan Rakyat allies behind as it was un-Islamic to break a promise.

“If the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) wants to hold talks on government unity with PAS, he must include DAP and PKR.

“Otherwise, there will be no talks,’’ he told a press conference on Wednesday.

Asked if the alliance with PKR and DAP would ever be reviewed, Mustafa said in politics there was no “permanent seal.”

However, PAS was prepared to hold talks with Umno on certain issues of national interest, he added.

“Even back in 1989 and 1990 during the era of Tun Dr Mahathir, PAS held talks with the Barisan Nasional on issues of national interest,’’ he said.

He was responding to Najib’s statement on Tuesday that he was open to unity talks with PAS and that he believed the Islamist party was sincere in its desire for such talks.

The “unity government” issue was brought up at the recent PAS muktamar (annual general assembly) by party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, to the chagrin of many party members as well as PAS’ allies DAP and PKR.

Others however, such as PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, supported the move.

Join Umno
In KOTA BARU, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat told Nasharuddin to quit the party and join Umno if he was so interested in unity with the Barisan Nasional party.

He should also relinquish his seat as Bachok Member of Parliament, where he was elected under the PAS ticket in last March’s general election, Nik Aziz said.

“He is causing a lot of problems in PAS with all this rubbish talk about the unity government with Umno.

“It has never been on the agenda for PAS nor Pakatan Rakyat, and this is just his personal opinion and not a stand of the party,” he told reporters after chairing the weekly state executive committee meeting at Kota Darul Naim Wedsnesday.

Reiterating his allegations that those in PAS behind the unity talks were merely “puppets of Umno,” he described what Nasharuddin was doing as “immoral.”

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Hadi Awang remained committed to the Pakatan Rakyat alliance and would fully explain his talks on the unity government with Umno at the upcoming Pakatan meeting next Monday.

The lack of unity on the Pakatan front has Barisan treading gently. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that there has to be a united stand from all three Pakatan parties before Barisan can respond to talks on the unity government.

"The Barisan stand is clear, but they keep moving the goalposts," he said.

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