PUTRAJAYA, Dec 6 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today rejected PAS’ newest overture for the two Malay Muslim parties to work together again.
He said Umno has learnt from the past and made up its mind not to work with the Islamist party again.
“Perhaps there are those who are talak crazy because they have been in government. How painful it must be to have many seats but remain the Opposition,” he told reporters after witnessing a humanitarian trust fund for Palestinians here this afternoon.
The word “talak” is of Arabic origin and refers to divorce in the Islamic context. A person who is “talak crazy” however is said to be still thinking about getting together with the ex-spouse after divorce.
Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister, was asked to respond to PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man who earlier today told news portal Free Malaysia Today that his party is open to working with Umno again.
Zahid said he hoped PAS will continue to pray and stop resorting to deception to get Umno back on its side.
“Allah has not opened our hearts to form ties with them,” he added.
Umno and PAS signed a formal pact to form a Muslim political cooperation called Muafakat Nasional in September 2019, after losing to the Pakatan Harapan coalition in the general election of 2018.
That partnership broke up a few years later with Umno leaders accusing PAS leaders of deception when the latter party teamed up with Bersatu – an Umno political offshoot Zahid has refused to work with.
Zahid was also asked to comment on fellow Umno supreme council member Isham Jalil’s remarks yesterday that their party leadership is becoming too close to the DAP.
Isham also suggested that the country’s Malay Muslim parties should work together for the sake of their shared religious community – a line that has been similarly used repeatedly by PAS leaders seeking to persuade Umno to join forces.
“He was absent from the meeting three times and I hope he has the courage to come tonight and voice out his opinion when we want to work together with Pakatan Harapan to form the unity government,” Zahid said in reply.
The Umno supreme council is scheduled to hold its meeting at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur at 8pm today.