Meetings between PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) are more serious than implied by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, said Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir.
Mukhriz said they had already met three times with PAS’ “negotiating team”, with increasing progress.
“As far as we were concerned it wasn’t just a casual chat as he (Hadi) implied,” Mukhriz told Malaysiakini when met in Felda Jengka, Pahang last night.
He was clarifying DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s remarks that he was confused by Hadi’s response to the meetings.
Hadi on Thursday had said the PAS-Bersatu talks was just a meeting.
“What took place (recently) is just a meeting (between leaders from both parties), just like with others concerned.
“Any formal decision has to be collectively made by the Pas working committee and not by an individual official,” the Islamist party president was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
PAS and Bersatu had held a closed-door meeting on Wednesday.
Mukhriz and his PAS counterpart Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had issued a joint statement that both parties agreed to form a technical committee to hash out terms of cooperation.
“We were told they still need their leadership’s consent, after they’ve gotten that we can go ahead and sign it,” Mukhriz said.
He added that he was still hopeful that an agreement can be reached and would not take Hadi’s remarks to heart.
He said Hadi may not have been properly briefed on the matter.
Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has said that the deal – which he expected to be signed soon – would unite the opposition
PAS research centre director Mohd Zuhfi Marzuki however said there was still a long way to go.
Bersatu has been looking to convince PAS to compete in straight fights against BN in the next election.
However, PAS is in disagreement with Bersatu’s allies in Pakatan Harapan, namely its splinter party Amanah and DAP.
Amanah and PAS are widely expected to contest against each other.
Meanwhile, Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been butting heads with PAS, saying the opposition did not need them.
Mahathir had previously singled out Mohd Zuhdi as being among the individuals trying to sabotage cooperation talks between PAS and Bersatu.