Malaysia: Umno’s doors still ‘very much open’ to PAS: Annuar Musa

  • UMNO is still open to cooperation with PAS despite being openly snubbed by the Islamist party recently, said a senior Umno leader.
  • However, Umno information chief Annuar Musa said the final decision on any compact with PAS would come from Umno president Najib Razak.
  • Annuar’s comments follow PAS’ decision to form a third political coalition called Gagasan Sejahtera Rakyat which will contest in the general election under its own banner.
  • PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan has announced that the coalition will contest up to 100 parliamentary seats in the next general election with a view towards taking over Putrajaya.
  • The Islamist party’s stance means it will contest against the Umno-led Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan coalitions.
  • PAS’ decision came after months of overtures from Umno keen on cooperation between the two parties on matters of common interest, including the general election.
  • He said Umno was still willing to work with the Islamist party on the latter’s private member’s bill colloquially known as “RUU355” to enhance punishments for shariah offences.
  • Umno had initially said it would take over the tabling of RUU355 and make the bill a government initiative. But it was forced to abandon the plan after severe backlash from BN component parties.
  • As result, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang went ahead and tabled RUU355 as a private member’s bill, which has not progressed beyond the tabling stage.

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