Thursday, June 11, 2009

PAS deeply divided over unity talks issue

Party president Hadi Awang (left) and Spiritual Adviser Nik Aziz

There are now two factions in PAS - that's the own words of PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat,whose men were all sidelined and voted out in last week's general assembly. The Kelantan Mentri Besar has admitted that he was "emotional and angry" with what has been taking place in his party. He even lashed out at newly-appointed secretary-general Mustapa Ali, who has issued a gag order.

The usually calm tok guru is now mad as hell, something many Malaysians have never seen before, demonstrating the seriousness of the split in the party now. He has also admitted attending a secret meeting of his supporters.

PAS president Hadi Awang, meanwhile, said he was prepared to discuss with Umno on issues such as media freedom, the elections commission and judiciary reform. Well, that would be difficult for Nik Aziz to object. Those are legitimate concerns. But it isn't just Nik Aziz that Hadi has to deal with now, DAP's Karpal Singh is also going for his head with the veteran DAP asking PAS to reassess its position in Pakatan Rakyat. The fallout isn't happening just in PAS but seems to have spread to Pakatan Rakyat.

The path taken by Hadi does not come as a surprise to many in the political and media circles. He has never been a fan of Anwar Ibrahim who has now assumed the post of Opposition Leader. The crown, as far as the Terengganu leader is concerned, is his. That includes the Prime Minister's post if the PR forms the next federal government. He's of course counting the chickens before they are hatched but that's what ambition is about.

Hadi is also said to be slighted with the bigger role given to DAP by PKR, as he sees PAS as the second largest party in Malaysia after Umno. The perceived disrespect towards PAS by the two PR partners has been boiling for some time. It was only a matter of time before it exploded.

Hadi, if we care to remember, has also been uncomfortable with the secular path by PR. Last year, Hadi expressed his unhappiness at the increasing number of non-Muslim elected representatives from Sabah and Sarawak in an interview with Harakah. So, don't blame the press for misquoting him. It was the official PAS newsletter that quoted him.
In fact, he threatened to pull PAS out of Pakatan if there were more non-Muslim MPs. He was talking about non-Muslim MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, presumably Christians in this case. See New Malaysia and Charles Hector. You can't fault Hadi for being consistent. He has never changed his stand of wanting to set up an Islamic state either. His position on Muslim elected representatives is also clear; it's just that many chose to ignore it or to believe what they wanted to believe.

But we can guess. Soon, all the angry statements would be forgiven, the press blamed for instigating, and a show of unity would be put up. Well, it's just another day in Malaysian politics until PAS make another ridiculous statement on dressing, concerts and hudud laws.


Anonymous said...

Those who know history will not be surprised.
Those who think leopards can change their spots, continue dreaming.

Mun said...

Strategically-speaking, it might not be good for the PR to lose PAS since the PR would likely lose a great deal of rural Malay support. I dont think PKR would be able to cut it there alone.

Speaking of which, why hasn't DAP tried to evolve and reinvent itself more in truly becoming a multicultural party? I don't think putting it down to their party ideology alone is a good enough excuse.

Even PAS considered (even if it did not carry it forward) to have it's supporters club turned into a wing with full voting rights and privileges. That is at least a sign tht some real thought has been put into change, even if the view is not shared by all within the party.

Anonymous said...

Pas members cannot tolerate this UG.They will support Tok Guru.If manek Urai is outside kelantan,PAS is sure to angkat bungkus.

They will make u-turn in pr13.
Hadi,Nasarudin and Mustaffa Ali are sure angkat bungkus too.

Pas members are not like Umno.They don't jilat their leaders.History tells us all.Nakhaei and Dato Asri....they had to join umno.

Pas new members are no more kolot.

Odette said...

Difficult situation indeed... but the members of PAS have spoken by electing the current line up of leaders. Whether that is a good thing for PAS and Pakatan remains to be seen. My personal opinion is that that was not the best way to go. Ultimately, the opposition front has to be credible and it is not easy when each arm has such opposing and conflicting ideologies. Throw personal ambition and internal conflicts into the whole pie and this becomes a distasteful dish for the rakyat to swallow.