As tensions escalate between Umno and Bersatu, PAS’ Hadi Awang says focus is on strengthening alliance

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PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang delivering the opening speech of the 66th PAS Annual Congress at the Kelantan Islamic Education Center in Pengkalan Chepa September 13, 2020. — Bernama pic
PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang delivering the opening speech of the 66th PAS Annual Congress at the Kelantan Islamic Education Center in Pengkalan Chepa September 13, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — As tension escalate between Umno and Bersatu, Islamist party PAS appears to stay out of the conflict and is not taking sides.

Online news portal Malaysiakini reported PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as indicating support for both Umno and Bersatu.

“We just want to strengthen Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Muafakat Nasional (MN),” he said during a brief press conference in Terengganu today.

MN is an alliance that PAS struck with Umno in September 2019 through a charter that both parties signed.

PN, meanwhile, is a loose coalition headed by Bersatu that governs Putrajaya together with Umno-Barisan Nasional and PAS, with support from Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

Tensions started to flare after Umno ceded the Sabah chief minister position to Bersatu and the giving up of strongholds that were won by Umno in 2018 to those who defected to Bersatu.

There have also been repeated calls by Umno leaders for the party to quit PN.

Before the Sabah elections, PAS was undecided on contesting under the BN or PN logo, before ultimately being dropped from the candidate list.

Meanwhile, as cases of Covid-19 are on the rise again, Hadi has ordered all PAS’ public programmes to be postponed until further notice.

He said programmes that can’t be postponed must adhere to standard operating procedures.

Likewise, Hadi hoped that celebrations to mark the anniversary of the Muafakat charter being signed could also be postponed.

During the press conference Hadi refused to entertain questions regarding criticism of a proposal for PAS to have an appointed assemblyperson in Sabah.

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