‘Uncomfortable’ with Umno alliance? It's OK, I’ll explain it to you, new PAS Youth chief tells members

Jerry Choong
Newly-elected PAS Youth chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin delivers his closing speech during Dewan Pemuda PAS Muktamar in Gambang, Pahang June 20, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, JUNE 20 — Newly-minted PAS Youth chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin today admitted that there were some within the Islamist party who are still uncomfortable with working alongside former nemesis Umno.

“As for the cooperation with Umno, it is natural that some of us may still be uncomfortable at the thought.

“For those who are still reluctant, we will have to go onto ground and explain it to them, while gathering more opinions and thoughts on the matter,” he said in a press conference following the wrap-up of the wing’s Muktamar (annual congress) at Bukit Gambang Resort.

Khairil said he hopes that GE15 will see more one-on-one contests instead of multi-cornered ones.

When asked if he expected most of the resistance to the PAS-Umno co-operation to come from party veterans, Khairil said it is understandable they feel so.

“They have reasons to be wary, or course, due to their life experiences. But we will meet with them as youths meet with their elders.

“As long as we remain respectful and polite (beradab) when interacting with them, I see no particular problem,” he said.

He added that the wing will continue to focus on the directives left to it by his predecessor Muhammad Khairil Abdul Hadi, aimed at upholding and defending Islam.

In addition to this, he also said PAS Youth will strengthen its internal machinery both on the state and central levels.

“We will also expand on intra-party relations between us and others, as well as maintaining and building ties with others abroad, such as foreign Islamic parties,” Khairil said.

Khairil said that in line with Khalil’s parting advice, the Youth wing will continue to remind the central leadership that other political parties can work with PAS so long as its principles are respected.

Similarly Khairil said he looks forward to strengthening ties with non-Muslim opposition parties and their youth wings, including MIC and MCA.

“We get along well with MIC, but I admit it is slightly challenging when it comes to MCA.

“However we have worked together with them before, such as the Japanese monument issue in Kedah last year. MCA has also attended some of our social events where many conversations and discussions were held,” he said, adding these are small steps towards a fuller working relationship.

Lastly, Khairil said the wing is also aiming to enhance its focus on mastering social media, given its importance among youths today.

“We are planning for more live telecasts weekly in our respective portals, where PAS excos can speak on current issues and events.

“The general idea is to communicate to the rakyat, both Muslim and non-Muslims, that what PAS brings to the table is based on peace among the rakyat with the Constitution as its core,” he said.

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