PAS awaits official muzakarah invitation

PAS wants Umno to provide an official letter first before discussing among its leaders on the next step.

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Despite Umno’s willingness to hold a muzakarah (discussion) with PAS, leaders of the opposition Islamist party were wary over the invite, pointing out that they had yet to receive an official letter from Umno over the matter.

“For the time being, it is all merely speculation through the media. We have not even discussed any of this in our meetings,” PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu told FMT.

He added that PAS members “may” bring up the issue during their Dec 17 meeting, but even that is not yet confirmed.

“That meeting will focus on appointing committee members from our various bureaus in PAS. We are also going to talk about our opposition towards the goods and services tax (GST), fighting corruption and so on.”

When asked how he felt about Umno’s openness to have such talks, Mohamad Sabu was tight-lipped, and repeated that PAS leaders had yet to discuss the matter among themselves.

Similarly, PAS vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the party would not make a move until Umno sent an official letter inviting them to the muzakarah.

“If we receive a letter, then we will discuss this in the coming meeting. For now, any information we receive has been through the media.”

Should the muzakarah take place, Tuan Ibrahim said it would touch upon implementing an Islamic administration system; mechanisms of the state and federal government; as well as issues afflicting Muslim Malaysians such as LGBT, unemployment and faith.

But he denied that such discussions were a betrayal to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, as the muzakarah would not touch politics.

PAS reignited a muzakarah possibility

Last month, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had reignited talks of holding a muzakarah after he said the party was willing to cooperate with Umno for the sake of the rakyat.

“PAS is ready to hold a muzakarah with Umno on issues of implementing Islam. We must prioritise Islamic law,” the president had said in his speech at the 59th annual PAS Muktamar in Stadium Melawati.

In response, Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday he welcomed the muzakarah to strengthen ties and reduce misunderstanding between the two parties.

“We place great emphasis on unity and we will always welcome an initiative to strengthen ties such as a muzakarah to find a common ground or reduce misunderstanding,” Muhyiddin had told a press conference at the Umno annual general meeting (AGM).