Public rally to demonstrate Pakatan unity
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDERBy Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — With the PAS-Umno unity talks behind them at last, Pakatan Rakyat will hold a public rally this evening in Petaling Jaya to show that the loose coalition formed after the last general election remains intact.
Senior party leaders including Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang will address the rally which organisers are hoping will draw about 100,000 people.
PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, who came under heavy criticism for his part in the pro unity talks, is also expected to make an appearance tonight.
But the infighting within the Islamist party — which reached its peak during party elections early this month — caused by the unity government proposal made by Hadi is far from over.
The rally tonight which was first proposed at last week’s PR leadership council meeting has already being criticised by supporters of the Erdogan faction who are against any form of co-operation with Umno.
Political attacks targeted at Nasharudin continue despite last week’s meeting of pro unity leaders with spiritual adviser Nik Aziz that ended the public display of disagreement between senior leaders.
Just days earlier Nik Aziz had asked Nasharudin to leave the party after he responded positively to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s remark that favours a formation of a unity government.
“Tonight’s assembly is to publicly cleanse Nasharudin Mat Isa, but a tiger doesn’t change its stripes,” said a Kelantan PAS official who is sceptical about the Bachok MP’s stand on Umno.
The Malaysian Insider understands some party leaders linked to the Erdogan faction believe that last week’s central working committee meeting did not solve the issue.
“They will be squeezed out, unless they are willing to be yes man in the party,” said former PAS vice-president Datuk Nakhaie Ahmad on the Erdogans in a recent interview with The Malayian Insider.
Nakhaie left the party in late 1980s in the face of strong opposition from PAS’s conservative leaders who were against co-operation with the non-Muslims and his approach in formulating party policy in preparation for taking over the government.