KUALA LUMPUR – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said UMNO and PAS have never discussed political cooperation or in Islamic terms called ‘tahaluf siyasi’.
Instead, he said that they had only discussed issues that concerned the interests of the “ummah” (Muslims).
Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO vice president but carrying out the duties of deputy president following the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, said the discussions were focused on finding common ground including on laws which involve Muslims.
“(It is) About the welfare of Muslims, on unresolved issues which should be jointly tackled and I think this is a good approach taken by the PAS leadership (to hold discussions with UMNO),” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama ahead of next week’s UMNO General Assembly .
The Deputy Prime Minister said Muslim leaders in political parties as well as other organisations, irrespective of their differences in opinions, should work together for the betterment of the “ummah”.
“I think political maturity is not only seen from the point of “tahaluf siyasi” but in sincerity towards tackling universal issues and the interests of Muslims overall as compared to personal or the narrow interests of a particular organisation,’ he said.
Ahmad Zahid said he favoured the process of consultation whether with friend or foe towards finding solutions on contentious issues.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the past had stressed that the party had the right to forge cooperation with anyone or any political party including UMNO.
Abdul Hadi said the cooperation with UMNO was more focused on championing the Islamic struggle in the interests of Muslims in the country and was not for political interests.