Monday, June 8, 2009

Keep an open mind

The muzakarah or dialogue between PAS and Umno is a stepping stone for both parties to gain the people’s trust, said Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

“Do not look at it as a trap. If we have an open mind and think good of each other, it will be a platform for two of the biggest parties in Malaysia to discuss with each other. I believe we can even talk about the polemic in Perak,” he said.

Khairy, who was one of the speakers at the Agenda Awani programme on Astro last night, said the dialogue should not be misconstrued as a formal meeting to establish a unity government.

“Don’t be obsessed about formality. Muzakarah should be a series of informal discussions where the two giants of politics can come to a mutual agreement on national issues that would benefit the people,” he said.

Another speaker, PAS central committee member Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, said there were three obstacles to the muzakarah – public perception, consensus from party members and blessing from its counterparts in Pakatan Rakyat.

“All these must be taken into consideration so that the dialogue won’t backfire on us,” he said via telephone conference on the talk show.

To this, Khairy said PAS still had the chance to work with Umno as Pakatan was a political coalition and not a political party.

“We contest under the same umbrella (of Barisan) whereas Pakatan candidates do not. Hence, I think PAS should never say never to working with Umno.

“There is nothing wrong with starting a muzakarah because from this informal discussion, we could have cooperation in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile Bernama reported Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying the unity government proposed by PAS was not an agenda to form a coalition government but a conduit to forge closer understanding among Malays and the ummah.

He said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had mooted the idea in the interest of the ummah and religion.

“PAS should translate the ideals that it professes for the good of the religion and ummah. I do not want the action to be detrimental to Muslims,” he told reporters when visiting Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Zahid, who is also Defence Minister, commended PAS for making forays in the interest of the ummah.

“I hope PAS will not set any conditions if it merely wants to cooperate with Umno. We know that some PAS delegates at the 55th muktamar had voted against a candidate who supports the cooperation,” he said.

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