“Most importantly, the people must be united. It has to take precedence over party interest. Let us sacrifice some of our rights sincerely for the sake of saving our country.”
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who mooted the idea of a unity government with Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) as a solution to political strife. The leader of Malaysia’s second largest political party stressed the importance of looking for common ground, in the interest of leading the country. (Source: PAS calls for a unity government, The Malaysian Insider, 27 Feb 2009)
“I made the suggestion to (Tun) Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) because we see him as a leader with the least problems, but I don’t see any such Umno leader now.”
Hadi, on PAS withdrawing its unity government offer. He said with Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Malaysia’s new prime minister, the idea was no longer tenable. (Source: With Najib in, Hadi withdraws unity government offer, The Malaysian Insider, 18 April 2009)
Hadi also said the withdrawal was so that PAS members could understand his concept of a unity government. Party opinion has been split on the issue, with PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat himself speaking out against it.
“[It is] not just members of Pakatan who support us fully but also members of Umno, who want our cooperation to work together in solving the problems confronting the country.”
Hadi, insisting that PAS’s partners in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) knew of the party’s talks with Umno. According to Hadi, while PKR and the DAP were not eager to jump into such talks, they had reacted positively. (Source: Debate motion for ulama to head PAS rejected, Malaysiakini, 5 June 2009)
PKR and the DAP would later express confusion at this statement. DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang refuted Hadi’s claim, saying that the question of a PR-BN government was never discussed at any PR leadership meeting. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng also urged Hadi to spell out his unity government proposal. “They have to explain at the next top leadership council meeting,” Lim said.
Notwithstanding the lack of an explanation, the unity government option is still on the table. Re-elected PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa said the “door to dialogue with any political party or non-governmental organisation will never be closed.” Najib, on his part, is keeping an “open attitude”.
“We cannot remain still on the boat and watch fellow Muslims drown in ignorance.”
Hadi, in his closing speech at the party’s 55th muktamar. He said PAS would not hop onto the BN “boat”, but was willing to give Umno a helping hand if it needed it. (Source: Hadi Awang: Party will not allow Barisan to manipulate it, The Star, 8 June 2009)
“Islam will not be with us if we do not fight for the cause as a whole. We cannot just rely on ourselves … we need to meet everyone to have an open discussion.”
Hadi, appearing to keep his party’s options open, and using religious principles to justify this. (Source: Hadi: Let’s not shut our doors to others, Malaysiakini, 7 June 2009)