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PAS veep says Muafakat Nasional’s Muslim unity agenda with Umno bigger than political survival

PAS vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar was reported as saying that that the Muslim unity agenda, which is the mainstay of MN, is bigger than the ‘survival’ or continuity of any particular political party. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 – PAS vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said that the Malay-Muslim unity agenda is the reason the Islamist party will continue to defend its relationship with Umno through the Muafakat Nasional (MN) pact.

Malay daily Berita Harian reported Ahmad Samsuri as saying that the Muslim unity agenda, which is the mainstay of MN, is bigger than the ‘survival’ or continuity of any particular political party.

“We will continue to work on discussions with Umno to ensure that the cooperation between the two parties remains intact, even though some leaders describing MN as being “buried”.

“We see a big agenda and not just a party agenda (or) party politics,” he told reporters when met at the Rhu Rendang state assembly Hari Raya celebration at the Marang district office square in Terengganu yesterday.

He was commenting on the fate of the MN pact and its ties with Umno that has been described as strained after PAS joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to form the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition that locked horns with Barisan Nasional (BN) in the recent Melaka and Johor state elections.

Umno is the lynchpin party of BN that won landslide victories in the two recent state elections.

Ahmad Samsuri, who is also the Terengganu Mentri Besar, also echoed PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang’s assertion that the party must always strive to ensure both MN and PN can continue and be one of the alternatives in the country compared to the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

He said this was despite certain quarters condemning PAS and felt that the party’s cooperation in MN with Umno is over.

“For PAS we see a bigger agenda for the ummah (Malay-Muslims).

“Which is bigger, the ummah or the survival of a particular political party alone? We (PAS) have not given up on defending MN because for us the pact is unlike what some political party leaders have described,” he explained to the Malay daily.

Ahmad Samsuri added that PAS cannot afford to be upset if the other party does not want to commit.

“This is not a matter of getting engaged, nor is it a matter of marriage or looking for a suitable spouse.

“On the contrary, this is a matter of the ummah. The importance of the Muslim’s bigger agenda is greater than anything else,” he said.

When asked if PAS was disappointed with the many criticisms made against the party, Ahmad Samsuri said the party was not discouraged and will continue the struggle.

He said God willing, may what has been done be blessed by Allah SWT.

The MN pact’s charter was signed between Umno and PAS in September 2019, following the defeat of BN at the 14th general election the year before.

MN was formed to initially contest against Bersatu who were the predominant Malay party that was previously with the PH government, before the Sheraton Move in 2020.

The political manoeuvring, led by Bersatu president and former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, resulted in the party defecting from PH to form and lead the then ruling PN coalition with PAS and Umno.

However, of late Umno and PAS have traded barbs and campaigned openly against each other in the run-up to the recent Melaka and Johor state elections despite both being in the federal government.

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