After PAS decrying the US court action over 1MDB funds as “foreign interference”, a party leader has now lashed out at an international conspiracy” to defame the Islamist party.
PAS Selangor exco Iskandar A Samad today claimed this was possibly the reason for a report claiming his party is conspiring with Umno to retake Selangor.
“The report […] must be seen as an effort to spoil PAS’ image.
“It is just speculation without any solid proof.
“It could be an international conspiracy to attack PAS from inside and abroad, just as (London-based website) Sarawak Report, which PAS has taken to court,” said the PAS leader in a statement today.
The party is suing the website’s editor over an article about speculations that RM90 million of 1MDB funds had allegedly made its way into the accounts of PAS.
Yesterday, Singapore’s Straits Times reported sources claiming Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang have been in “near-daily contact for several months” and that there were plans to collaborate to recapture Selangor in the coming general election.
The report added former PKR menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had allegedly been earmarked as the two parties’ choice of menteri besar to head the state should their plans succeed.
Khalid was sacked from PKR after he refused to step down as menteri besar in 2014 to make way for party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, leading to a protracted state administration crisis that lasted months.
Despite being an Independent after his dismissal, he continued to hold on to the post of state chief executive with the help of four PAS exco members including Iskandar.
At the time, a leaked whatsapp group chat among PAS leaders also revealed then central committee member Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki reportedly discussing the merits of taking advantage of the crisis to team up with Umno to retake Selangor.
Iskandar meanwhile rubbished the Straits Times‘ allegations as “unbelievable” and “did not make sense”, as Selangor voters had “rejected” Umno in the past two general elections.
He added Selangor voters were happy with the present government citing an independent survey he claimed showed only 10 percent of residents were dissatisfied with the state government.
“I also believe there would not be split votes in case of three-cornered fights such as was seen in the Sungai Besar by-election,” he said, adding he was confident there would not be a change of state government as voters would be discerning of their choice.
“The reality is Umno or whatever other party do not have any solid issue that can take down the present state government,” he said.
“After being released from Umno’s clutches in 2008, Selangor residents would not want to return to the era of that party’s rule,” he added.
Iskandar’s statements appear to contradict Selangor PAS commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi, who this week threatened to field 42 PAS candidates to contest the state’s 56 seats, including incumbent Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali’s Gombak seat.
PAS has also repeatedly stated its intention to contest against Pakatan Harapan nationwide, including PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s stronghold of Permatang Pauh.