Malay Dignity Congress: Hadi to join Dr M despite Umno leaders panning event

Modified 2 Oct 2019, 12:16 pm

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang will attend the Malay Dignity Congress at Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam on Saturday.

Party secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said the PAS central leadership gave its blessings for Hadi to be present at the event, which is to be officiated by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"PAS received an invitation from the organiser.

"The central leadership at its meeting today agreed for the president to attend to signify that PAS is magnanimous in wanting to strengthen the ummah and national unity,” he added in a statement.

The move comes amid several Umno leaders criticising the congress, accusing the Mahathir-led Bersatu of exploiting the issue for political mileage and that it is being organised to counter the Umno-PAS alliance, cemented on Sept 14.

In the past, Hadi had repeatedly said his party, which has 18 MPs, would back Mahathir if there is an attempt within Pakatan Harapan to push a no-confidence vote against the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa tweeted this evening that Umno has also been invited to attend the congress and would hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter.

The congress is organised by the Pusat Kecemerlangan Melayu Akademi Pengajian Melayu Universiti Malaya in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia and the Sultan Idris Education Universiti.

Previously, organising director Hashim Ismail said Mahathir would be attending the event not as the prime minister but a Malay leader.

The congress would discuss issues involving education, religion, culture, politics and the economy from a Malay perspective.

Yesterday, the event's secretariat chief executive Zainal Kling claimed that the event is a response to certain quarters challenging the position of the Malays and Islam.

"Many of the questions not only belittle the Malays but also question bumiputera rights, the position of the royalty, belittle and question Islam and also cultural issues such as the national language.

"This is why we are organising the congress... Because all the questions have challenged Malay dignity so much that they (the Malays) do not only feel challenged but also played out, belittled and underestimated," he added.

The event comes amid race and religious issues dominating the political landscape, with the opposition, namely Umno and PAS, claiming that the position of the Malays and Islam have eroded under the Harapan administration.

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