PAS’ peace gesture insincere, says Mahathir

(The Star) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad described the willingness of Kelantan PAS to work with the Federal Government as insincere and politically motivated.

“I have had my experience with PAS leaders when it was in Barisan Nasional. They only tried to strengthen their party instead of the Barisan government,” he said on the sidelines of the 19th Global Smart Partnership Dialogue 2009 here yesterday.

The former prime minister said PAS had even poisoned the minds of many Felda settlers to oppose the Government after one of its leaders (the late Tan Sri Asri Muda) was appointed the minister in charge of the land scheme then.

He said that when asked to comment on Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s statement on Saturday that PAS was willing to make peace with the Federal Government and put aside the political dispute between them in the interest of the people and Muslim unity.

Dr Mahathir added that Umno should be wary of PAS.

In Kota Baru, Nik Aziz’s aversion for Umno become apparent when he clarified that his call to “bury the hatchet” was made in connection with relations between Kelantan and the Federal Government, not Umno and PAS.

He said his friendly gesture had nothing to do with Umno but was said in the context between the state and the Federal Govern-ment.

“There is no mention of Umno; Umno can go to hell,” he said.

Nik Aziz noted that the Govern-ment had an obligation towards the states, adding: “Why is the Federal Government blocking all the support it should be giving to Kelan-tan?”

He complained that some ministers even did not allow their officers to work with the Kelantan government.

On Saturday, Nik Aziz was quoted as saying that the state PAS-led government was willing to put aside the rift with the Federal Government in the interest of the people and unity among Muslims.