KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — PAS under the leadership of president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has played the role of peacemaker between Umno and Bersatu, according to Datuk Hashim Jasin.
In an interview with Utusan Malaysia, Hashim, who is the PAS spiritual leader, claimed that the party role as mediator was what influenced Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to propose a political ceasefire.
“All this while, I was made to understand that PAS, especially president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, has played a role to ease tensions if there were any clashes between Umno and Bersatu.
“In fact, Ahmad Zahid’s statement (of political ceasefire), in a way, has to do with PAS’s role. Problems can’t be avoided but we are confident that it can be resolved together.
‘The three parties have the same objective, which is to exalt Islam and to protect the constitution, which was ‘tarnished before this. If the objectives were not the same, then that is a problem,’’ he said.
On October 21, Zahid Hamidi issued a statement calling for a “political ceasefire” and ordered his party members in Cabinet to focus on helping the public face the economic woes wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A day before, both Umno and PAS decided to officially register as a political coalition with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) under the name Muafakat Nasional (MN).
In his interview with Utusan Malaysia, Hashim explained that Bersatu was not left out of MN, but that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s party has promised to join later.
“By this agreement, (Bersatu) will be with MN and, to me, Bersatu’s participation will strengthen MN. The struggle of Malay Muslims will be more coordinated with the combination of these three parties.
“If these three parties are in MN, we will become a formidable political force,’’ he said, referring to PAS, Umno and Bersatu.
In the same interview, Hashim also said he disagreed with a Cabinet reshuffle.
“I don’t see the need to do a Cabinet reshuffle at the moment. Maintain what we have.
“The current ministers we have now, I don’t see any flaws. At the moment, the country is facing economic challenges due to Covid-19, it is not suitable for a Cabinet reshuffling to be done,’’ he said.
On Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar’s claim to have enough support from MPs to form the next government, Hashim said this should be decided by Malaysians.
“I have known Anwar for quite a long time, since the 1970s, when he was in ABIM. His statement can be heard but whether it can be trusted, that is not certain.
“Before this Anwar had stated he has enough majority to form the government and to be the prime minister but that did not materialise.
“Should we believe a person who has lied before? I believed the rakyat can judge who is most suitable to be prime minister or otherwise,’’ he said.