PAS, Umno leaders held secret GE15 talks, says spiritual leader

PAS spiritual leader Hashim Jasin confirmed that there have been secret discussions between the Islamic party and certain Umno leaders to ensure straight fights with Pakatan Harapan in the 15th general election.

(FMT) – He said PAS is trying to drive home the point that the opposition coalition is the real enemy, not Bersatu.

“If we can join forces, we should,” he told FMT when asked to comment on negotiations that had been held under Muafakat Nasional, the pact the two parties forged in 2019 to unite the Malay-Muslim electorate.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan had revealed on Sept 4 that talks were held with certain Umno leaders who could persuade the party leadership.

Ties between Umno and PAS have deteriorated after PAS joined Bersatu to form Perikatan Nasional (PN) when Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration took over Putrajaya in March 2020.

While Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently said it was time for the party to move on without PAS, the Islamic party is adamant on maintaining ties.

Hashim claimed that Umno grassroots wanted the two parties to unite under MN, but it had been rejected by the top leadership.

“We know of one person (who does not want MN), but does he speak for the majority of members?” he said.

On Sunday, PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad said the party had always said “yes” to both Umno and Bersatu in order to push for unity among the Malay-based parties, despite being ridiculed for doing so.

He said PAS did not want a repeat of the last general election which saw the community split.