Monday, 22 June 2009

Hadi Awang Makes U-Turn on Unity-Talks with UMNO After Meeting of Pakatan Leaders

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Pakatan Leaders Meeting -June 22, 2009 at Parliament House
(Photo courtesy of Malaysian Insider)

PAS President Hadi Awang made a drastic turnabout, saying the unity government idea was ill-conceived – even by Umno themselves – and that PAS was only willing to “engage” Umno/BN on specific issues and not on Malay and Islamic unity as reported in the past after a meeting of Pakatan leaders today in Parliament House (June 22) .

He also assured that differences between party spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa "will be resolved tonight."

PAS will hold its central committee meeting tonight where this matter, including the unity talks with Umno, are expected to be the main agenda. Previously, Nik Aziz told Nasharuddin to quit PAS and join Umno in relation to the latter’s support for holding unity talks with Umno.

Following a meeting held in Parliament today, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders today rejected Umno's unity government proposal, and proclaimed all issues surrounding the fiasco which brought the fledgling opposition coalition on the brink of collapse resolved.

In a joint statement, they reiterated their loyalty pledge to strengthen the alliance, wanting to focus instead on their preparation for the next general election and a potential takeover of the federal government. PR leaders said that PR is willing to engage Umno/BN on matters such as improving the quality of education, restoring the integrity of the judiciary and eradication of corruption.

PKR de facto Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at a press conference held after the meeting said,
"The PR council of leaders reaffirms our rejection of the idea of forming a unity government with Umno/Barisan Nasional.

It is a clearly malicious and desperate attempt to compromise the integrity of the increasingly popular PR."
Anwar held various private meetings with Hadi, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat in the past week, playing mediator by urging them to bypass the unity talks controversy and move on.

Besides the three main leaders, others present at the meeting were PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, her deputy Syed Husin Ali, vice-presidents Azmin Ali and R Sivarasa. Others include DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali, vice-president Mahfuz Omar and central committee member and Bukit Gantang MP Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

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