Despite perception, Pas not beholden to Anwar

(Asia One) – A member of the syura council of Pas highlighted at its Sunday night meeting the fear of the party being perceived to be beholden to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The members were unanimous in demanding that Anwar retract his statement on the security of Israel.

Pas dewan ulama vice-chief Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed did not name the ulama who raised the matter, but made it clear that members had long felt that the remarks by Anwar were not appropriate.

“There is no compromise when it comes to issues that harm Islamic and Pas’ principles.”

Mahfodz, also a syura council senior member, said the party was unwavering with regard to its position on Israel.

“This also shows that Pas does not bow or is beholden to Anwar, despite the current public perception. We have our own stand and principles to protect.

“The setting up of Israel, an illegal nation created at the expense of Palestinian lives should not be supported or condoned at all,” said Mahfodz when contacted yesterday.

He said the meeting which was chaired by Pas spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat went for almost an hour.

“Other than the syura council members, even party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had previously voiced a similar opinion on this matter.

“Anwar should retract his statements. Otherwise, we also urge him to file a suit against Wall Street Journal if he was misquoted.”

Nik Aziz was reported to have said on Monday that the Pas ulama council, which met in Kuala Lumpur, urged Anwar to retract his statement unless the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) had misreported his statement.

“If the Wall Street Journal was inaccurate in reporting what he (Anwar) had said, then we hope he will sue the newspaper.”

The WSJ had quoted Anwar as saying in an interview last month that he supported “all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel”.

In Kuala Lumpur, with Anwar keeping a deafening silence since Nik Aziz’s definitive statement on Monday — he is said to be overseas — it was left to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution to attempt an explanation.

Saifuddin said the opposition leader’s statement on the two-state solution for Palestine and Israel was made after taking into consideration Palestine Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s own sentiments.

“His (Anwar’s) statement was guided by facts and real politics, not historical, sentimental or emotional attachment on the Palestine-Israel issue,” he said when contacted.

Saifuddin said PKR will arrange a meeting with the Kelantan menteri besar soon to explain PKR’s stand on the matter after Anwar returned from his overseas trip.

In Kota Baru, Nik Aziz said he had sent a letter expressing the council’s view to Anwar.

Pas is also willing to meet the opposition leader to hear his explanation.

“We have to make an open statement as Anwar has talked about it openly. It is not right for me to bring up the issue quietly. An open statement must be replied in the same way so that people will know.”

He was speaking after a meeting with the national inter-religious committee for the promotion of understanding and harmony at his official residence at JKR 10 here yesterday.

Nik Aziz said Pas was not in favour of the two-state solution to the Palestinian problem which Anwar subscribed to.