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29 NOV 2000




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PAS will not attend if talks only on Malay unity
Susan Loone

4:24pm, Tue: PAS president Fadzil Noor reiterated today that the party will not attend talks with Umno if they are solely to discuss Malay unity.

He refuted impressions given by certain quarters and the media that the party welcomed the talks, which are initiated by Umno last week, without any conditions.

“This is a multi-racial country and any discussion should centre on national unity,” he told malaysiakini.

Fadzil said that he welcomed any invitation to talk with any party but the issues discussed and agenda must be beneficial to Malaysians as a whole.

Fadzil, who is also Opposition Leader, said that the Malays were not disunited but only differ in their political affiliation as most have shifted their support to Barisan Alternatif, away from Umno.

“If Umno have problems, don’t expect us (BA) to solve their problems for them,” he said. “Umno is divided and it is their unity that is at stake, not Malay unity.”

More pressing issues

He stressed that he had commented several times that talks based on one race alone will not benefit the country.

He added that there were also more pressing issues that must be discussed such as corruption, abuse of power, government bailouts of privatised companies, the economic crisis and the fate of jailed former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is presently serving15 years’ jail for corruption and sodomy.

“These are issues which are crucial to national unity. Therefore, any discussion must include other races as well,” Fadzil stressed.

Fadzil confirmed that he had received a letter from Umno but didn’t consider it an invitation as “the letter only stated that there would be a Malay unity talk. The date, venue and agenda were not stated”.

Invitation spurned

Last night, Keadilan’s supreme council resolved to reject Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s invitation to a tripartite talks on Malay unity involving three political parties - Umno, PAS and Keadilan.

Keadilan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that Malay disunity was not the main issue confronting the country at present.

She stressed that the main issue is the crisis of confidence in the leadership of the country, corruption, police brutality, the weak economy, and a judiciary which has been usurped by the Executive.

She reiterated that Keadilan is a multi-racial party which has always maintained an open attitude to ensure the peace and harmony of all Malaysians.

PRM president Dr Syed Husin Ali has earlier said that it was more crucial to conduct a meeting between Barisan Nasional and Barisan Alternatif, which include DAP and PRM, the main theme being national unity and not Malay unity.


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