Umno welcomes unhappy opposition leaders to join party

(The Star) – Umno has welcomed leaders who are unhappy with the Opposition pact to quit and join rank with the Government, said party vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said while welcoming leaders from the Pakatan Rakyat to join Umno, all decisions would be determined by the party’s supreme council.

“Our doors are always open to leaders, including former PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, Selangor executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali as well as PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, if their own party rejects them,” he said at a press conference at the opening of Kuala Lumpur Bike Week 2011, Saturday.

Dr Zahid was asked to comment on the controversy surrounding Dr Hasan and Nasharuddin who had refused to toe the party’s line by publicly slamming PAS for allegedly deviating from its Islamic principles.

Dr Zahid said that many PAS leaders in the past had quit and joined Umno, including the late Tan Sri Asri Muda, former PAS president.

“Pas Syura Council should not be so sensitive when their own leaders express criticism or meet with Umno leaders.

“They claim Malaysia is a democratic country. They should let the rakyat decide,” he said.

Dr Zahid, who is also the Defence Minister, refuted allegations that the ministry had overpaid RM11.36mil to agents for he purchase of six naval patrol vessels.

“The allegations are all untrue,” he added.

It was reported that Parti Kesejahteraan Insan Tanah Air (Kita) president Datuk Zahid Ibrahim had alleged that the ministry had paid a total of RM11.36mil for technical assistance in the purchase of the patrol vessels.