KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said today PAS is ready to hold talks with political archrival Umno on issues concerning Muslims as national polls edge closer, two Malay-language dailies reported in their online editions.
Both Sinar Harian Online and HarakahDaily.net reported the PAS spiritual advisor as saying his party had always been open to holding talks with all, including the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin, on matters concerning the country’s Muslims but had been waiting for Umno to make the first overture.
“It is human nature to hold a muzakarah (Arabic for dialogue) to resolve something and I have been practising it from long ago, I agree if there is one (with Umno),” he was quoted as saying in Sinar Harian.
“But until today, the issue has not been resolved. Only talking about muzakarah but never doing it,” Harakah quoted him as telling reporters in Kota Baru today after the Kelantan state executive council meeting.
“So right now is most appropriate to discuss why people reject Islam,” the PAS paper reported Nik Aziz, who is also Kelantan mentri besar, as saying.
Recently, Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria described PAS as deviating from its original goals and misusing Islam to gain political power.
The mufti, who is seen as widely influential, had suggested that the National Fatwa Council consider holding a dialogue to discuss PAS’ right to use the word “Islam” in its name, Harakah reported.
In the past, Nik Aziz was seen as standing in the way of certain factions in PAS and Umno that have been attempting to arrange for unity-government talks between the two Malay parties.
Harakah also reported the PAS leader as urging voters to put aside electoral talk for now as general elections, like death, are a certainty.
The BN government’s mandate expires in the first quarter of next year and speculation is rife that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will call for elections in the next few months.