Mahathir on political pact: PAS once called UMNO a ‘party of infidels’

Asia
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ALOR SETAR, Kedah: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has poured cold water on the formal political cooperation between two Malay-based opposition parties United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), which will be inked this weekend.

“Even the United Nations charter cannot stop wars, let alone the UMNO-PAS charter,” he told reporters on Tuesday (Sep 10).

The two former nemeses will sign a charter to forge political cooperation in a two-day “Ummah Unity Gathering” in Kuala Lumpur. Ummah is an Arabic word for community.

Commenting on the charter, Dr Mahathir, chairman of ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH), said the two were rivals, with PAS once describing UMNO as infidels.

He pointed out that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has yet to officially retract his statement labelling UMNO as a party of infidels.

READ: Commentary: A potent political force faces huge challenges as UMNO, PAS join hands

UMNO and PAS decided to work closely together following the 14th general election last year, which saw the historic defeat of UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) for the first time since the country’s independence.

Observers had said that the UMNO-PAS pact could pose a threat to PH in the next general election, although PH leaders have played down the potential impact.

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