Nik Aziz says it again: No unity government

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Pas spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat repeated today his opposition to the formation of a unity government with Umno, signalling the significance of the issue in next month's party polls.

His statement today comes amid intense campaigning between rival candidates of the pro Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Erdogan faction and the conservatives who favour forging closer ties with Umno.

"I have never trusted Umno when we worked with Umno in the past, the party was split into three some in Berjasa and Hamim, it took me years to unite Pas members after we were kicked out, so what is the guarantee we will not be expelled this time," Nik Aziz told reporters here today.

"There is no need for a unity government. Kelantan is a unity government. I even appointed Chinese officers to be 'penghulu'," said Nik Aziz when asked about his son Nik Abduh's claim that the Kelantan mentri besar was willing to form a unity government with Umno if PAS was given important ministries such as education and finance.

Nik Abduh recently also said that his father was wrongly advised by his aides, resulting in Nik Aziz's opposition to the unity government proposal.

Nik Aziz pointed out today that PAS would only accept Umno if the Malay nationalist party was willing to change its ideology to Islam.

"If Umno changes its ideology from nationalist to Islam, I will support them," he said.

The idea of forming a unity government was first floated by party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang last March but he withdrew the offer after facing strong opposition from party leaders including Nik Aziz.

On the party election next month, Nik Aziz refused to reveal his preference but said he was confident that the party delegates would choose the most qualified leaders.