KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 – PKR and DAP had asked PAS to approach Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, after both failed to convince him to join their parties, said Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. “The first to meet Tengku Razaleigh was PKR. Not us, they invited him to join PKR,” the PAS president told party leaders and members at a dialogue session in Terengganu yesterday.  “After that, DAP met Tengku Razaleigh and invited him to join DAP. Tengku Razaleigh was not interested in joining either party.” Hadi was responding to a question from the floor regarding PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli’s claim that Tengku Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li, had been the PAS leadership’s choice for prime minister prior to the 13th general election.

But Hadi said they only approached Razaleigh to join PAS on the request of their allies, following DAP and PKR’s own failed attempts to invite the Umno leader to join Pakatan Rakyat. “So we invited him to join PAS. But he didn’t want to join PAS either, he wanted to remain in Barisan Nasional (BN). “That is the story, so those who keep making noise should understand it. That is the truth,” said Hadi, according to a video clip of his speech uploaded on social media. This was the first time the PAS president was responding to Rafizi’s claim.

Rafizi told a forum on August 5 that a delegation of PAS leaders comprising Hadi, secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, deputy president Mohamad Sabu and vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had informed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a month before the May 5 polls that they wanted Ku Li for the top post. PAS Research Centre operations director Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki later confirmed this, but added that Anwar had disagreed to the proposal and they had “closed the books without making any announcement”.

Mustafa had described Rafizi’s statement as “stupid”, but neither confirmed nor denied the claim. “If he thinks he is PKR’s strategy director, then he has made a stupid statement,” the PAS secretary-general told The Malaysian Insider. Last Saturday, Anwar revealed that he was PAS’s choice for the office of the prime minister should PR take over Putrajaya, dismissing talks that the Islamist party preferred Tengku Razaleigh. “Even though it was never officially announced by PAS, wherever I went, whether it was with Johor PAS or even in Kelantan, or in front of (PAS spiritual adviser Datuk) Nik (Abdul) Aziz Nik Mat, I was disclosed as their choice for prime minister,” Anwar told a lecture last week. The PKR de facto chief downplayed the objections against him becoming the prime minister, saying that they were the views of a “small group”. – September 6, 2014.

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