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PAS in BN will benefit non-Malays, says Ahmad Maslan
KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Umno information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today that non-Malay communities would benefit if PAS joined Barisan Nasional (BN). Ahmad said that the country will profit from a united Malay community which forms the majority of the population.
“If PAS unites with Umno, it is not only the Malays who will benefit but also the non-Malays. The business community will profit from a majority that is at peace. When there are no longer any political conflicts, we will be able to concentrate on education, economy and nation building,” he said during a forum here.
Ahmad said that PAS and Umno leaders should stop fighting each other because it will not benefit the Malay community.
“It is ludicrous if we continue fighting among ourselves. We fight in the mosque, coffee shops and other places. Instead of working to elevate our community, we are trying to drag each other down,” he said.
Umno’s youth ulama secretariat representative, Fathul Bari, added that Umno and PAS must put aside political differences and unite for Islam.
“Umno stands for Islam, protects Islam and helps spread the teachings of Islam in the country and the whole world. If we unite because of our religion, then the will be very positive. This is because our pact will not be based on bloodline or race but Islam,” he said.
Malay Consultative Council (MPM) secretary-general Dr Hasan Mad, however, said that PAS should not join BN to ensure checks and balances in the country.
“We do not want PAS to join BN because we have other purposes for PAS. Don’t bring PAS into BN but do not make enemies of them. We have to accept that there are minor ideological differences between Umno and PAS but we must not let PAS get close to DAP,” he said.
Dr Hasan also claimed PAS’s struggles are similar to Umno’s Malay supremacy.
“In terms of Malay supremacy, what PAS is fighting for is not that great a departure from that of Umno but when it is politicised, the media places Umno on the far right while PAS is on the left. When Malay supremacy is politicised, it will cause hate among the Malay community when the difference is only the political ideology,” he said. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak threw open the doors ly for PAS to join Barisan Nasional and further the concerns of Malays and Muslims, telling the Islamist party that it could not achieve its aims while partnering with DAP.
Najib’s invitation follows calls by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite the Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by the DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.
It also continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.
The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno had dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders keen on exploring talks with Umno emerge as big winners.
More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner, hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was broached once again.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into BN entailed both PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.
Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi had reassured his partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.