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Thursday, July 31, 2014

How big is the PAS faction backing Umno?

Klang MP Charles Santiago says the electoral re-delineation later this year could be made to favour Malay and Muslim voters through a PAS-Umno pact in Selangor.
Charles_Santiago_300x200KUALA LUMPUR: The leaked WhatsApp group chat raises crucial questions as to how big the faction within PAS that has aligned itself to Umno is, Klang MP Charles Santiago said today.
Santiago said the group chat between PAS central committee members, including Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki, who is also the PAS research centre operations director, did not come as a complete shock.
He said conservative elements within the Islamic party had already been openly discussing the contents of the group text messages, which suggested that the electoral re-delineation later this year could be made to favour Malay and Muslim voters through a PAS-Umno pact in Selangor.
“How many discussions have taken place between PAS and Umno to prompt Zuhdi to spell out a clear scenario of the party leaving the opposition coalition?
“And how much support is there within PAS to electoral gerrymandering based on race and religion, which would only serve to steal the election?” he asked.
He added that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang also seems to have thrown his support behind Umno by resisting the removal of Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.
“As such, we cannot keep pussyfooting around this issue by pretending that the racist and damning WhatsApp messages reflect the opinion of some PAS members.
“PAS has to clearly state its stand on disturbing issues such as forming a working pact with Umno to grab Selangor and retaining Khalid, gerrymandering and the action it will take on the central committee members including Zuhdi,” he said.
Santiago said PAS leaders must also spell out how they will handle the powerful conservative faction within PAS, which is threatening to split its own party and Pakatan Rakyat as well.
“Pakatan Rakyat must also figure out how it aims to work together with PAS, which has renegaded on the coalition’s consensus and common policy one too many times,” he said.
He added that anything short of this would only mean that Pakatan had betrayed the trust of the people who voted for the opposition coalition.

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