PAS signs pact with Ikatan for new opposition bloc

KUALA LUMPUR - PAS and Parti Ikatan Bang­sa Malaysia (Ikatan) have formally sealed an agreement on political co-operation and oppose the Government "by advising it".

Announcing this at a joint press conference yesterday, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the new pact would focus on empowering the people and upholding the Constitution.

He said the pact would take a mild approach in opposing the Government.

"We don't want to be an Opposition which is extreme in going against the Government.

"We want to be a pact that opposes the Government by advising them. We will still give them credit when they do good for the people," Hadi said.

Ikatan president Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said Ikatan agreed to co-operate with PAS as it was not an "extreme" party.

"PAS practises Islam and Islam teaches its followers to respect other faiths. When we know what Islam is, we know that PAS is good for everyone," he said.

Kadir said the new pact, seen as a third force in the political scene, would engage the Government in solving the woes plaguing the people.

On whether the co-operation signalled Ikatan's agreement to PAS' Islamic state agenda, Kadir said "it is not what PAS is about".

"There are so many things in Islam that we can focus on. But in certain circumstan­ces, it could be better if (the implementation) is postponed," he said.

When asked to comment on DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang's view that the bloc carried no weight to the political landscape, Hadi said: "Only God knows the future."

On contesting in the general election, PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said both parties had not made any decision.

In George Town, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said PAS had every right to form a new opposition pact but the Islamic party had been seen to be supporting Umno.

"The question is, will a vote for PAS be equivalent to a vote for Umno?" he said at a press conference.

Asked whether the new pact was seen as a rival to Pakatan Harapan, Lim said it was up to the people to decide.

In SHAH ALAM, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said the new union would have no adverse effect on PKR or Pakatan Harapan.

"All parties from both sides shared a common goal of bringing change to the political landscape," he said.

To a question of how the new Opposition bloc will reflect on Selangor, which still maintains PAS in the state administration, Azmin said co-operation with PAS would continue.

"We have made it very clear that even though we have Pakatan Harapan, which was formed some months back, we will still maintain our co-operation with PAS," he said.