KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang claimed Umno was being manipulated by its political partners, which his party was trying to prevent.

On Facebook, the Marang MP said Umno was facing a bitter challenge after losing in two consecutive general elections.

Acknowledging that Umno was older than PAS, Hadi said his party was not trying to “teach ducks how to swim”, but was instead trying to save them from the slaughter.

“PAS from the very beginning invited Umno to join Muafakat Nasional (MN) that was genuine, with the largest Malay-Muslim and Bumiputera parties — Umno, PAS and Bersatu — which then included Perikatan Nasional (PN) that combined all non-extremist parties,” he said.

Abdul Hadi claimed that Umno’s leadership had “greedily refused” because it predicted the party could win the general election on its own.

He said that a leadership crisis caused Umno to “fall into the hands of more opportunistic parties who were cursed with money politics without ideology”, to the point that some gave up on the party’s struggle.

“The situation is like a drowning person who doesn’t know how to swim and fumbles for anything to save himself, including hugging a rock that sinks him further,” he added, likening this situation to Umno’s political alliance with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“Such a thing happened when there was a group that jumped towards PH, which is a combination of the DAP party with extreme chauvinist ideology, socialism in the guise of secular democracy, openly anti-Islam, as well as the secular pragmatic PKR and PAN as an additional tool,” he said, referring to Parti Amanah Negara as PAN.

He also criticised PH for cooperating with political rivals it had openly criticised, to form an “unnatural government” labelling them as “empty cans.”

Hadi suggested that Umno would never be able to win PH over to its ways and claimed that the Malay nationalist party’s grassroots remained opposed to the partnership.

Stressing that PAS and PN were not out to destroy Umno, he pointed out that PAS had supported the Malay nationalist party in the wake of the 1969 race riots.

He also said that PAS had acted as a “boarding house” for Umno leaders who were removed when there was an internal crisis among them.

“On the other hand, it is not impossible for DAP to ‘swallow’ Umno as it happened in history in Singapore, when Umno was swallowed by the PAP which later gave birth to DAP,” he wrote.

He said that although PAS had cooperated with DAP and its allied before, it refused to cooperate later, accusing the DAP of opposing its Islamic struggles.

“PAS is never dead, even though it has suffered dozens of defeats at all levels, but it still survives with its principles of struggles. As for Umno, it only lost once,” Abdul Hadi said. - malaymail