Hadi and Nasharuddin ‘sanction resumption of unity talks’

(The Star) – Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has claimed that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa have sanc-tioned the resumption of unity talks.

He said if the top two leaders of the party had agreed to discussions with Umno, other members would follow suit.

However, he added that there was now dissent in PAS over the proposal and this was disturbing the party’s grassroots.

Khairy said he was also informed by insiders that state PAS leaders had banned Nasharuddin from making an appearance last Monday for the Manek Urai by-election nominations.

“There were reports that he would come today, but why didn’t the deputy president come in the first place?” Khairy asked at the Barisan Nasional Youth ceramah in Peria here.

“This by-election is important. If Barisan wins, it shows the voters support the push for unity in the country.

“If PAS wins, it means we are back to square one and the excessive politicking which is tearing our social fabric apart will remain unabated,” he said.

He claimed many PAS Youth members in Manek Urai have realised this and through a middleman, have conveyed their intention to support Bari-san candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat.

Khairy said Umno was receptive to working with PAS on issues of common interests but rejected working with DAP and PKR, adding that they were hardliners intent on confusing the nation.

He also alleged that PAS Youth did not participate in the by-election as a gesture that they were ready to engage Umno in discussions about unity among the Malays and Muslims.

“Kelantan PAS leaders have to think. Should they continue to put up with insults from DAP and PKR? They have an alternative here and we want them to talk to us,” he said.

Meanwhile, PKR elections director Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said Khairy’s move to “divide and rule” voters would backfire in Manek Urai.

“Voters know that the Pakatan Rakyat alliance is stronger and more united than the proposed national unity project mooted by Khairy,” he said here yesterday.