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PAS today vowed not to betray Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties but will continue to talk to Umno on specific issues. Secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said any attempt to form a unity government must include PKR and DAP. Yesterday Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he could sense that the Islamist party was “sincere” in forming a unity government. "If Najib wants to talk about unity government, not only he must talk to PAS but he has to be willing to talk to PKR and DAP," Mustafa told a press conference at the party headquarters here.

"If they are not willing to talk to PKR and DAP, PAS too is not willing to talk," he added. He said that as a founder of the opposition coalition PAS has remained with its partners despite the setback in the 2004 general election where PKR was almost wiped out. "In 2004 when PKR was weak, we did not abandon Barisan Alternatif," Mustafa said. But he added the coalition can still disagree on certain issues. "For example, on allowing Chin Peng to return PKR and DAP support, but PAS is against it," he said. Mustafa said the unity government idea mooted by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang must not be confused by the party's effort to engage other parties including Umno on specific issues.

"For example, on the private religious schools issue, they can't talk to DAP or maybe PKR, they have to talk to PAS, because it involves PAS-controlled states" he added. "Our track record shows that we are willing to talk to the federal government on national issues," he said. Mustafa cited an example in 1989 when PAS was part of the National Economic Consultative Council. "Please differentiate between unity government and engagement," said Mustafa.


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