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    Umno, PAS expect large turnout at signing of charter this weekend

    (Updated )

    The signing of a formal political pact between Umno and PAS is expected to draw crowds of at least 10,000, as it is an open invitation to everyone.

    Umno and PAS division leaders are set to meet at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on Friday for the two-day Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah (Ummah Unity Gathering), according to The Star.

    Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi confirmed that the two parties have put their long-time rivalry aside and will sign a charter and a memorandum of understanding.

    "This is political cooperation and not a political coalition. 

    "It will be an inclusive kind of meet where all parties, races and religions will also be invited to be part of the cooperation," he said.

    PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan (photo) said he expected the gathering to be a show of strength.

    "The signing of the deal may not be legally binding, but it is a show of commitment by party leaders, supported by the grassroots," he said.

    Invitations to the gathering on social media urge participants to wear white, saying it is open to all citizens, political parties and NGOs.

    Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa expressed his hope that the new tie-up would have positive engagement with all members of BN, Gagasan Sejahtera, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gagasan Bersatu Sabah (GBS).

    "We have 1,000 of our own uniformed volunteers – from Umno and PAS volunteer squads – to control the crowd," he said.

    Annuar went on to say that even Pakatan Harapan representatives would be invited.

    However, MCA president Wee Ka Siong appeared to distance his party from the event, saying: "This is strictly cooperation between Umno and PAS.”

    His MIC counterpart S Vigneswaran said he would only be there as a witness and not play any role in the deal.

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