KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 ― Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called out PAS for using DAP to reject co-operation with Pakatan Harapan.
In a question-and-answer session streamed “live” on Facebook, the former prime minister claimed the Islamist party’s refusal to work with DAP was merely a political excuse and not based on religious reasons.
“Back then Hadi was all over Guan Eng hugging him and all, that never seemed to be a problem,” Dr Mahathir sarcastically said, referring to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Both men were often seen together in the early days of the previous Pakatan Rakyat federal Opposition partnership that formed after Election 2008 but broke up in mid 2015.
Dr Mahathir then questioned why PAS deemed it permissible by Islam to work with Umno, an ally of MCA, a fully Chinese party that openly opposed the party's Islamist agenda.
“If you have a problem with DAP, then how can you work with Umno who in turn is working with MCA.
“Isn't MCA a party of infidels?” he asked.
Dr Mahathir noted that unlike MCA, the DAP had multiracial members that included good Muslims.
He also pointed out that DAP had openly declared that it would uphold the Federal Constitution, including recognising Islam as the religion of the federation and the special position of the Malays.
“DAP had made this very clear… but you never hear this from MCA,” the 91-year-old said.
PAS severed ties with DAP two years ago following a fallout sparked by the former's move to implement strict Shariah laws in Kelantan where the Islamist party is the ruling government.
Since then, there had been several attempts to mend ties and bring PAS back into the new Pakatan Harapan pact that replaced the previous federal Opposition alliance.
However, PAS has repeatedly asserted that any link to “anti-Islam” DAP, even via a political pact with other parties is impossible.
Pakatan Harapan now comprise PKR, DAP, PPBM and Amanah, a PAS splinter party.