PAS president urged to cease talking about backing out from polls

(The Star) – PAS leaders have asked their president to stop talking about backing out of the general election, saying it will send signals that he is losing faith in the Pakatan Rakyat’s quest to wrest Putrajaya.

“The situation is like an army on the brink of war, but the general decides to quit.

“Why make such an unsolicited statement? It was simply uncalled for,” said a senior leader, referring to reports in Malay daily Sinar Harian that Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang does not wish to defend his Marang parliamentary and Rhu Rendang state seats.

The senior leader, who declined to be named, said Abdul Hadi needed to lead the party’s charge in the election.

Abdul Hadi had reportedly also said that if he was nominated by the party to contest again in the polls, he would agree to defend only one of his seats.

He gave his reason as “having been around for too long” and that he wanted to make way for younger leaders.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub commended Abdul Hadi for saying he wanted to make way for younger leaders, adding that it showed the president was putting the interests of the party and the country ahead of political power.

However, Salahuddin stressed that Abdul Hadi must contest again in the general election, even if it was for one seat.

“This is a crucial time. Pakatan, and especially (PKR adviser) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP, still need him. It’s up to him (Abdul Hadi) to decide but I think he should be in Parliament, befitting his status as PAS president,” said Salahuddin, adding that there should now be a successor for the Rhu Redang state seat.

In Butterworth, Anwar said he would meet Abdul Hadi soon to urge him to run in the next polls.

“Abdul Hadi has been playing a critical role in Pakatan’s leadership decisions. His role and contributions are still critical for the initial phase of a Pakatan government.”