Not too long ago, I was both elated and afraid when the Vice-Presidency of PAS was filled with the likes of Nasharudin Mat Isa, who read at the University of Glasgow. For once, PAS was filled by people with IQ, instead of the Mullah-like characters from their Dewan Ulama. In 2009, all that changed when he was defeated by Mat Sabu and other Ataturks (Mahfuz Omar et al), who then went on to become the Deputy President of PAS in 2011, the first non-Alim (singular, Ulama is plural) to be in that position in over a quarter of a century. PAS is now said to be 60% in control of the Ataturks, and only 30% by the Dewan Ulama.
PAS was ultra-radical in its political approach and its battle-cry had always been to set-up an Islamic nation, based on its myopic interpretation of what is considered Islamic. The implementation of Hudud and Qisas (I wonder why Ta’zir was omitted) was their aim, much to the chagrin of fellow Barisan Alternatif partner, DAP. Somehow, it forewent this battle-cry in the 2008 General Elections to adopt a “more people-friendly” tagline of “welfare first.” With this, they had PAS Supporters’ Club formed for non-Muslim supporters of PAS.
It was a shock to many that a person of Mat Sabu’s morale got elected to the No.2 post of a supposed Islamic party. In December of 1995 (I stand corrected as to the actual date), Mat Sabu was charged for being in close proximity with one Normah Halim, wife of Bukhari Noor, a Kelantanese businessman, in Room 121 of Hotel Perdana in Kota Baru. While he was acquitted due to technical reasons (the two witnesses could not agree on the room number where the offence took place), one should not forget that the act was committed.
There was also a recording of a telephone conversation supposedly between Mat Sabu and Normah done back in 1994.
Mat Sabu made headlines last year after claiming that communist Mat Indera, who led the murder of 18 policemen at the Bukit Kepong Police Station in 1950, and then murdered their family, as the true nationalist. Nine days later, on 30th August 2011, Karpal Singh, a DAP veteran and MP for Bukit Gelugor responded saying that the 25 policemen were true nationalists and that Mat Sabu’s statements were ill-advised. PAS, however, has gone to defend Mat Sabu’s claims and statements. Mat Sabu, the joker, is now an idol worshipped by many in PAS:
Just last year, Dr Hasan Ali, a PAS VP, defended the actions of the Selangor Religious Department (JAIS) raiding the Damansara Utama Methodist Church for an attempt to proselytize Muslims. The full report submitted by JAIS has never been brought forth by the Menteri Besar, but His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor decreed that JAIS’s action was right and lawful, hence underscoring the dangers of proselytizing of Muslims by Evangelists. This was carried in PAS Selangor’s website. Yet, three months after this story was carried by the party’s state organ, Dr Hasan Ali was expelled from PAS for not toeing party line, or not following the spirit of Selangor’s Pakatan Rakyat.
The removal of Hasan Ali from PAS is another signal that the Ataturks are now in power. The level of distrust against PAS is further demonstrated by the other Pakatan Rakyat partners, DAP and PKR, when it was announced that the Menteri Besar, Khalid Ibrahim, who is from PKR, would hold the exco position instead of another PAS state representative. What qualification Khalid has is one issue. The other being, why not PAS? Khalid, of course, is being labeled by many as DAP’s mule, rather than being an effective PKR’s Menteri Besar.
I do not know how much power is wielded by the President, Hj Hadi Awang, who seems encircled by the Ataturks. Whether he still calls the shots in PAS, nobody really knows. Suddenly, I read in an online news that Hj Hadi offers himself to NOT be nominated to stand for the next General Elections.
I don’t know if it is a sign that he is not confident PAS will attain the same level of support from the masses and wishes not to be associated with any downfall, or if he is being forced to not lead PAS by the Ataturks, He would know best. However, reading Hadi’s statement below reminds me of one person who has yet to step down, although promised on several occasions to do so:
If Hadi resigns, that would pave the way for Ataturks like Mat Sabu and Mahfuz Omar to lead the so-called Islamic party – people with morale baggage that DAP could use to blackmail for support.
There is also talk that the Menteri Besar of Kedah, Dato Seri Azizan from PAS, will also be ousted from the party for not toeing Pakatan Rakyat’s stand on the Universities/University Colleges Act (AUKU). Azizan recently defended the use of AUKU against some KUIN students, and got salvos fired at him from every Pakatan Rakyat direction. Azizan’s rationale was simple: AUKU is an act of law, and therefore should be upheld.
If PAS in its present form cannot be trusted to lead a state’s religious affairs, respect Acts of Law, or even champion the cause of Islam, should we even trust it to run the states it is already running, let alone running a country while protecting the sanctity of Islam in this nation?
I think not. What you think is none of my concern.
With that, I leave you some entertainment courtesy of Mat Sabu and Ambiga.