AS the ongoing political chaos in Perak shows no sign of abating, a Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) politician claimed Umno members had offered them money to defect last year.
Ustaz Ahmad Awang claimed that Umno had used agents to meet him and party spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat (right, with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim) to put forward a proposal of coalition.
This happened last year, months after Barisan Nasional (BN), of which Umno is the leading party, suffered a crushing defeat at the March general elections, reported liberal news portal Malaysian Insider.
PAS commissioner for Perak, Ustaz Ahmad Awang told his party’s daily newspaper, Harakah: ‘At first, they offered a few PAS assemblymen millions of ringgit to cross over and join them.
‘The first person to get the offer was the Pasir Panjang state assemblyman who is now the Menteri Besar. But when this approach failed, they asked PAS Perak to form a coalition government with Umno and Barisan Nasional.‘
Mr Ahmad claimed that Umno used agents to meet him and party spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat to put forward this proposal.
He said: ‘They used a few muftis, senior government officials, NGOs and also a BN MP who is my relative… a senior Umno leader who hails from Perak and a senior government official whose wife is from Perak tried to meet me for discussions.
‘They were accompanied by a rector from a tertiary institution in Perak.’
He recalled: ‘This senior Umno official is a Cabinet minister who spoke to me on the phone and asked for a four-eyes meeting.’
When the meeting did not happen, Umno officials, including the minister’s delegation went to MrAhmad’s home, but was deterred by PAS volunteers.
Mr Ahmad said that even after Mr Nizar was sworn in as the state’s chief minister, Umno agents continued to approach PAS members to leave Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and work together with Umno in the name of Malay unity.
Last July, The Straits Times reported how Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi revealed that he had held meetings with top leaders of PAS and discussed Malay unity. Datuk Nik Aziz was not among them.
Then, media reports pointed to a rift between Pas president Hadi Awang and Datuk Nik Aziz, who is against a return to a PAS-Umno coalition, which fell apart in 1978.
These exposed a split in PAS over Mr Anwar Ibrahim’s role as the opposition coalition leader.
The PM had hoped to drive a wedge between the PAS leaders and bring about the collapse of the PR alliance, comprising PAS, PKR and DAP.
More revelations of Umno offering money for crossovers