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PAS has retracted its head and hid behind the existing comfortable and safe place.
Datuk Husam Musa, who promoted changes for PAS was defeated in the party elections. They would rather vote for Nasharudin Mat Isa, who insisted on “cooperating” with UMNO. PAS has wasted Husam. Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat knew how to recognise and appreciate talents, but most of the PAS delegates were not having an open mind like Nik Aziz.
Hadi Awang could have fiercely lashed out at UMNO and claimed that he wants to strengthen the party’s ties with PKR and DAP during his opening speech. (Instead) he said that he supported the idea to form a unity government with UMNO when he was being asked for opinions by reporters.
He even went further and said that PKR and DAP have already agreed with the idea. (Note: DAP Leader Lim Guan Eng denied the issue of unity government was discussed by PR leaders Read here)
It requires only a little political common sense to know that it is in fact a self-destruction. To put it frankly, it means a political suicide.
Hadi Awang may be an outstanding Ulama (religious scholar), but he is not a competent politician. He is scarcely comparable to late president Datuk Fadzil Noor.
The problem is, PAS is a combination of religion and political party in which Ulama is still holding a very high status in the party, regardless of whether he understands politics, leadership and management.
The 8 March general elections has expanded the party’s territory to an extent that it could not have imagined itself. They have gained supports from both Muslim and non-Muslim community.
The liberal-progressive “Erdogan” group led by Husam Musa intended to take advantage of this favourable situation and push the party towards PAS for all, making it a party acceptable to all.
To achieve the goal, PAS must first undergo a transformation that dilute the religious dogma and accept universal values, as well as to become more tolerance and moderation.
Such a thought have caused an uneasy feeling to the pro-Ulama lot and conservatives of the party. They are worried that PAS might be deteriorated and at the same time, the idea was a threat to their dominance.
The pro-Ulama lot launched a fight back by stressing on Ulama leadership and the return of religion, it eventually worked. Moreover, the worries of secularisation within the party have as well having an impact on the election results.
Although the “Erdogan” camp has been gaining in the vice-president and Central Committee elections, many of them, however, won because of their personal image or they have never offended the pro-Ulama lot. As for those in the liberal progressive group with a clear-cut stand, we could see that they have lost their stronghold from the defeat of Husam Musa in the Deputy President post, to the failure of Mujahid Yusof Rawa to be voted for the vice-president post and Khalid Samad to return as a Central Committee member.
The change of PAS will certainly affect the stability of Pakatan Rakyat.
UMNO and BN are now laughing in their beards as they have finally caught an opportunity to launch a counterattack.