MARANG • Islamic party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang held the hand of Malaysia's Agriculture Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek on a bumpy boat ride on Thursday, at the launch of an artificial reef off Terengganu.
The boat ride was unusual as opposition leaders are rarely invited to attend government functions, and due to the long political enmity between PAS and ruling party Umno, with one of its leaders being Datuk Seri Shabery.
Datuk Seri Hadi, who is the Member of Parliament for Marang, where the artificial reef was sunk, thanked the federal government for the invitation to the event.
He said his presence at a government function was a sign of "mature politics, politics without any quarrel, politics that champions joint interests", Bernama news agency reported.
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be together in this programme which is most meaningful for everyone, for politicians to be able to return to mature politics," he added.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be together in this programme which is most meaningful for everyone, for politicians to be able to return to mature politics.
PAS PRESIDENT ABDUL HADI AWANG, on the unusual invitation by the federal government to the event.
The politicians later witnessed the process of anchoring the artificial reef in the waters off Pulau Kapas.
Mr Hadi and Mr Shabery earlier sat side by side at breakfast with several fishermen.
Mr Hadi's comments were made just after he had promised at the PAS annual congress last week to start a "culture of mature and harmonious politics" as a new strategy to win votes.
He decried what he said was excessive politicking.
He had declared at the congress that PAS wants to play the role of "kingmaker" at the next general election by forming a "third bloc", a move away from the two-party system that pits the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition against the four-party opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance.
PAS, which has 14 seats in Parliament and controls Kelantan state, has also said that it is confident of winning 40 seats in Parliament and five states at the nationwide polls.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Najib Razak took aim at PH yesterday, saying that the internal bickering plaguing the opposition alliance could cause the Malaysian economy to suffer if it took over federal power.
The bickering would lead to constant Cabinet reshuffles, he wrote on his blog.
The general election is due by the middle of next year, but is widely expected to be called this year.
Separately, Mr Hadi, in an interview with the Utusan Malaysia newspaper, said that a change of government in the state of Selangor was possible, amid speculation that several assemblymen from Parti Keadilan Rakyat might jump ship.
Selangor is governed by PH parties.