Sunday, June 07, 2009

Nasharudin defends Hadi on unity government

The Malaysian Insider has this story:

Fresh from winning the PAS deputy presidency for the third time, Nasharudin Mat Isa defended party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who has been criticised for pushing talks for a unity government.

Nasharudin also vowed that the Islamist party would not close its doors to Umno and reiterated his stand that any talk with the Malay nationalist party was never conducted with the intention of working together.

“As mentioned by the president in his policy address, we have never closed our doors to discussions with political parties or NGOs,” Nasharudin told reporters after his victory was announced today.

“I will pursue the need for PAS to talk to all. We can’t just keep things to ourselves,” he said, reflecting the party’s new-found desire to engage others outside the Muslim faithful.

He stressed Datuk Husam Musa’s defeat in the deputy presidential race would not influence the way the party approach the issue.

“It is not a matter of easier the doors were never closed for us to discuss with whoever is out there,” said Nasharudin when asked whether Husam’s defeat would make it easier for PAS to talk to Umno.

Newly re-elected Pas deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa holds a press conference at the 55th Pas Muktamar.

On his success in defending the deputy president post, he said it shows the delegates were not influenced by media reports.

His challenger Husam has been getting favourable media reports since launching his campaign, when he promised to end all attempts to cooperate with Umno.

Nasharudin obtained 480 votes, while Husam, 281 while the third contender Mohamad Sabu received 261 votes.

When pointed out that he obtained less than 50 per cent of the votes, Nasharudin said: “I still won.”

On the unity government proposal, he said that the idea had to be put on hold as the party needs time to explain it to the members.

“It is not a one man show party, especially on policy matters, it has to be endorsed by the muktamar,” said Nasharudin.

Elaborating on Hadi’s remark yesterday that he had received the support of Pakatan Rakyat leaders for the unity government idea, Nasharudin said the discussion did not reach policy level.

Other Pakatan leaders have denied discussing the subject between them.

The deputy president also promised to work towards strengthening Pakatan but said PAS has never intended to dominate the opposition coalition and said the leadership council is sufficient.

“There is no need to appoint one party to lead,” said Nasharudin when asked whether PAS is interested to lead the opposition pact which controls 82 parliament seats and four state governments.

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