I refer to the letter PAS-Umno talks - PAS fast losing credibility .
The writer’s assertion that PAS having secret talks with Umno as an act of betrayal towards Pakatan Rakyat is rather premature.
In principle, PAS has the right to talk to any party and such talks do not necessarily harm Pakatan Rakyat in any way. It was not made public perhaps because of the sensitivity at the time.
In fact, PAS’ loyalty was proven when they rejected Umno’s offer for power-sharing at the very first opportunity and decided to remain in Pakatan.
It was also good that PAS continued to talk to Umno despite categorically deciding against a PAS-Umno power sharing deal.
This because they are series of issues that, from a PAS point of view, could benefit all the five states under the administration of Pakatan Rakyat if the political tensions could be toned down to a level that is more manageable for both sides.
PAS understands well how difficult it is to rule a state without good relations with the federal government and PAS was unsure if all the states under Pakatan could handle this pressure, especially with the state leaders lacking experience.
Not all the menteris besar and chief ministers could swallow all the bitter things Tok Guru Nik Aziz had swallowed for two decades in Kelantan.
It is not about being pessimistic, but of being more realistic over calculated risks. In fact, they were efforts to incite a revolt among the Malays in certain states ruled by Pakatan. In these delicate times, not all issues can be solved through politics alone.
Some may require higher diplomatic approaches which are more complicated and mind-teasing. PAS merely decided to explore these possibilities as it believed that it is in a better position to do so.
The bottom line is PAS did not betray its partners in Pakatan despite various offers by Umno for power-sharing during these talks. A person who refuses a bribe after being offered one is at least a level above a person who has never been offered one before.
The confusion arose when the talks were linked squarely to a power-sharing deal between PAS and Umno. It should have been a foregone conclusion that the deal would be rejected by PAS at the very first opportunity.
This only shows how loyal and rational the PAS leadership was in dealing with this issue.
The only blunder committed by PAS with regards to this issue was the poor communication among its own ranks. It seems things were not well communicated even among themselves, let alone with other parties within Pakatan.