SHAH ALAM, 5 June 2009: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang will likely spell out the details of his proposed unity government with Umno on Sunday, 7 June, when he winds up debates and closes the party’s 55th muktamar.
Hadi will first listen to delegates’ views on the subject during the debates tomorrow and part of Sunday, incumbent deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa said today.
Nasharudin said many people, including PAS members, have misunderstood Hadi’s call for a unity government with Umno.
“The president will listen to the debates and we expect this issue to be raised. I foresee that a few states will give ideas on how to strengthen, explore and expand the unity concept which is still not understood by many,” Nasharudin told The Nut Graph on the sidelines of the muktamar today.
Last year, news that PAS’s top leaders, including Hadi and Nasharudin, had met with then Umno president and prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the March general election drew protests from PAS grassroots.
Till today, Hadi has yet to detail to what extent he envisions cooperation with Umno. At one time, he withdrew the idea after Datuk Seri Najib Razak became prime minister in early April this year, as he had preferred to deal with Abdullah.
The unity government issue has become a platform for one of Nasharudin’s challengers, incumbent vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, who will be left without any party position if he loses his bid for the deputy presidency.
Husam has made his refusal to cooperate with Umno his election manifesto.
Nasharudin, asked if the number two race was a referendum on the unity government proposal, said: “Well, the president is still there”, referring to the fact that Hadi retained the president’s post uncontested even though the unity idea was his.
“It’s the media that’s talking about the party election as a reflection of the unity government issue. I won’t know if it is a true sentiment until I hear the debates,” he said.
Adding that he did “nothing wrong” in talking to Umno, Nasharudin said: “It wasn’t my proposal, it was the president’s, so I was just doing what the party asked me to do.”
Voting for the party’s top office bearers, except for the president’s post, began after 3pm today. Party elections director Datuk Mustafa Ali said the results would be announced tomorrow morning.