Nik Aziz’s ‘go to hell’ upsets Umno leaders

(Bernama) – Several Umno leaders have expressed regret over the statement “Pergi Jahanamlah Umno” (Go to Hell, Umno) by PAS Spiritual Leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat because it came from a political leader who was not only a religious scholar but also a “tuan guru” (respected teacher).

They were also upset by Nik Aziz’s complete dismissal of reconciliation efforts by Umno, which they interpreted as a display of arrogance on the part of the Kelantan menteri besar.

They did not want Umno to be overly excited with the idea of working with PAS as they viewed Nik Aziz’s speeches on making up with the federal government as just an act.

Kelantan Umno Liaison deputy chairman Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said a religious scholar like Nik Aziz was not supposed to come up with statements such as “Pergi Jahanamlah Umno”.

Speaking to reporters in Kota Baru today, he said that though they have been called names, Umno was still open for reconciliation with PAS.

“Umno is always ready to bury the hatchet, to talk things through. However, if the other side is not only unreceptive, but mocking and jeering us, one moment ready (to reconcile), the next not … it would be difficult (to cooperate).

“We are Malays and Muslims, with dignity and culture. We have to set a good example,” said Awang Adek, who is also the Deputy Finance Minister.

In KUALA LUMPUR, Cheras Umno Division chief Datuk Wira Syed Ali Alhabshee also said Umno should not be taken in by the proposal for cooperation between the federal and Kelantan state governments.

“We welcome the proposal if it is in the name of Muslim brotherhood, but our previous experience with Nik Aziz’s political acting calls for us to be more cautious this time around.

“We have to be wary of Nik Aziz’s statements because he is a deft political player,” he said.

Malay Unity Action Body secretary-general Hasan Hamzah said that as a respected person with whom the Malays have placed their trust in, Nik Aziz should not have uttered such an outrageous statement.

“Nik Aziz is not a real ‘tuan guru’. If he can come up with words like ‘Pergi Jahanamlah Umno’, we can also come up with ‘Pergi Jahanamlah PAS’,” he said.

Puteri Umno chief Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said she hoped that Umno would not be too enthusiastic about the type of cooperation suggested by PAS leaders and should instead employ caution as PAS had a hidden agenda.