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What makes Khairy think PAS wants to merge with a dying Umno?

Umno should not consider merging with Islamist party PAS, despite a proposal by party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin (pix).

The former Umno Youth chief said the merger was also highly unlikely to happen due to the differences in ideology between the two parties.

“It should not be formalised. I’m not for a merger. I don’t think it can happen anyway. We are fundamentally different parties,” he told reporters when met at the parliament lobby, here today.

Khairy was responding to Ahmad Zahid’s call for the two parties to formally merge “in the name of Islam, Malays, Malaysia and Bumiputra”, just six months after the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) lost federal power to Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Ahmad Zahid had said this at a gathering to oppose the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Pasar Salak, Perak on Saturday, admitting that it was a mistake for the two parties to lock horns previously.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, speaking after Ahmad Zahid, however did not make any mention of the latter’s proposal but only spoke on the objections against ICERD.

Khairy said while the idea of a merger should not take place, the two parties could still cooperate on issues of common interest, including on ICERD.

“We should be open to cooperating with anybody if we feel there is an alignment of interest,” he stated.

A mega gathering led by Umno and PAS is set to take place on Dec 8 in Kuala Lumpur to object the ruling government’s plan to ratify ICERD.

Meanwhile, Khairy expressed gratitude to PAS for sitting out the Rantau by-election to make way for Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan to contest.

“I thank PAS because they decided to sit out of it. I hope their voters will give support to Hasan. This is good news to us. We do not want to have spoiler voters,” he said.

The Rantau state seat fell vacant after the special elections court ruled last Friday that the election there was invalid and ordered Hasan, who had won uncontested on May 9, to vacate the seat.

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