Mahathir: We wanted PAS, but they preferred Umno

Former PM says that the formation of Pakatan Harapan had even been delayed with hopes of getting PAS on board, adding they are still open to PAS.

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad today revealed that Pakatan Harapan (PH) was willing to work with PAS, and had even delayed formalising the opposition coalition just so they could get the Islamist party on board.

But, the former prime minister said, PAS prioritised its relationship with Umno.

Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister said they had on several occasions discussed with representatives from PAS about joining forces, only for their president Abdul Hadi Awang to reject it.

“We hoped for PAS to join us, but they couldn’t work with DAP and Amanah.

“It was PAS who ended ties with us, but we’re still open,” the PPBM chairman said during a Facebook ‘Live’ question-and-answer session this morning.

Mahathir said if PPBM did not work with the other opposition parties, they “would not win”.

No party in Malaysia, he said, could go against the Barisan Nasional alone and an opposition coalition was needed to win the election.

PAS and DAP severed ties following a fallout over hudud, with PAS vowing never to work again with the DAP and PAS-splinter group, Amanah.

Just recently, PAS also decided to cut ties with PKR.

The Islamist party, meanwhile, has been warming up to Umno , with the two parties working together to widen the punitive powers of the shariah court and they have, on several occasions, shared a stage.

PPBM officially became PH’s fourth member in March.

PH was formed on Sept 22, 2015, to replace the main opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which ended in June following a row between the DAP and fellow PR component PAS.