Some Comments on the Recent PAS Mu’tamar and Its Aftermath
Farouk A. Peru
The recent PAS Mu’tamar serves to tell us just what we can expect from PAS.
- If after this, the Malaysian public (and we include even non-Muslims here) still supports PAS then when the worst happens, then they deserve what’s coming to them.
- And if after this, DAP and PKR still stand shoulder to shoulder with PAS, then I urge the Malaysian public to even RECONSIDER them as your alternative to BN.
PAS’s recent mu’tamar and its aftermath, that is events reacting to the mu’tamar, gives us several signs that we cannot afford to dismiss. An analysis of a few of these events follow below:
- Hadi’s Ucapan Dasar.
Hadi mentions in his speech that it is PAS which will lead the Islamic political initative in the country. He reemphasised the leadership of the ulema and denounced the failures of other socio-economic systems. He used exactly the same language as arch-fundamentalists Sayyid Qutb and Abul ‘Ala Maududi in his approach to Islam.
However, in the very same speech, he also advocated close co-operation with Pakatan Rakyat. This is akin to Hitler calling for genocide of the Jews and at the same time, advocating close co-operation with Ariel Sharon.
- The re-election of Nasharuddin as Vice-President.
While trusting Husam Musa is an outright bad idea after his support of Sharia law late last year, at least Husam isn’t a ‘play both sides’ man as yet. Nasharuddin Mat Isa on the other hand, is a chip off the old Hadi block.
Straight AFTER his re-election, he began articulating the initiative for Malay Unity talks with UMNO. That Nasharuddin was re-elected shows which way the wind is blowing for PAS.
- The Malay Unity Talks with UMNO
If these talks ( ie PAS-UMNO Unity) don’t scare away the Malaysian public from supporting PAS, then I really don’t know what will.
Hadi and Nasharuddin who represent the so-called ‘conservative’ wing of PAS already announced intent for such talks. While Nik Aziz seems to oppose such talks, I would urge PAS supporters to look at this move very cautiously.
This could simply be ‘good cop, bad cop’ tactics to have one’s political cake and eat it too. The Malay Unity talks however, shows PAS’s true commitment to Islam.
Can someone please ask Hadi and Nasharuddin, did Prophet Muhammad sit with Abu Lahab for Arab Unity talks? If not, whose sunnah are they following please?
- DAP’s Impotent but Indignant Outburst to PAS.
True to form, the DAP acted accordingly to the Malay Unity Talks. Lim Guan Eng denied Hadi’s claim that DAP and PKR had agreed to unity talks with UMNO.
We need to ask the honourable Mr Lim, when will you learn, sir? Just what would it take to prompt you to sit up and rethink your alliance with these people?
How could a socialist party like the DAP even contemplate working with the Islamist PAS especially when it has reiterated time and again its TRUE intention?
- PAS Youth’s Condemnation of the Removal of the 30% Bumiputera Equity
In Malaysia, the youth wing of any party is simply a means for the senior members to voice or enact their political will without getting the reactionary political heat. It’s that simple.
PAS youth by condemning the government’s decision to the remove the 30 percent quota, has shown that PAS itself really has NO scruples when it comes to political power. If being Muslim is a means to power, they will use it. If being Malay is a means to power, no problem either.
Lim Kit Siang needs to ask his PAS colleagues to explain themselves.
- PAS’s Call to Probe Sisters in Islam.
This call was rather surprising to me not because PAS is incapable of such a call. Far from it, actually. Rather, that the call was made during such a time like the mu’tamar when PAS needed everyone to know how nice they are.
The need to probe sisters in Islam simply shows the religious authoritarianism which PAS so blatantly CANNOT hide. Sisters in Islam are social activists who use orthodox channels for Sharia reformism for their proposed reforms.
That PAS cannot appreciate this tells us very meaningful things about them and the sharia law which will be established once they come into power.
60 Questions for Nasharuddin Mat Isa, Deputy President of PAS
Read here for more on The Middle Ground Blog
Like many NON-Muslim/Malay Malaysians who had watched the recently concluded 55th Muktamar of PAS, I was flabbergasted at what had transpired.
I was also horrified that the faction which was party to the earlier PAS-UMNO unity talks were returned to office in significant numbers.
- Had I betrayed my fellow non-Muslim/Malay Malaysian brothers and sisters when I had been advocating support for PR and PAS within it?
- Had I miscalculated the sincerity of PAS when I asked ordinary Malaysians not to be fearful of them but instead support them to oppose UMNO/BN who have treated us as unwelcomed 2nd class citizens?
Just when I thought a viable alternative to UMNO/BN was possible in the form of PR , PAS had to make me put a halt to my enthusiasm for PR and make me re-assess them once again.
I am also heartened by the open letter written by a PAS Youth Leader from Malacca - CLICK HERE who posed 60 questions to PAS Deputy President Nasharuddin Mat Isa.
This is what he said and asked:
TO: NASHARUDDIN MAT ISA , DEPUTY PRESIDENT PAS
FROM: PAS YOUTH LEADER FROM MALACCA
Newly re-elected PAS Deputy President Ustaz Nasharuddin Mat Isa was quoted by The Malaysian Insider rubbishing the stance of PAS's spiritual leader Tok Guru Dato' Nik Aziz's position on PAS-Umno talk. READ HERE ARTICLE ON MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Mat Isa said Tok Guru's statement regarding his total rejection of PAS-Umno unity talk was personal and that PAS members “take the party's stance.” He added that there were many issues that could be discussed between the political parties and that he (and his ilk) have “an open attitude when it comes to holding discussions.”
Before I proceed, I would like to say this to Nasharuddin Mat Isa:
Don't test PAS members on Tok Guru Nik Aziz.
Don't test PAS members' patience in this regard.
Don't test PAS members' loyalty to Nik Aziz. Woe and woe unto you if you dare to do that.
I can assure you that you will lose ignominiously if you continue with this kurang ajar culture in PAS.
You are overreaching yourself and you are pushing many a silent people to the limits. You would have to shoulder the consequences. Who are you to contradict Nik Aziz?
Dato Dr Haron Din was quoted saying yesterday that “the difference between an Islamic and a non-Islamic party is loyalty to leadership”, now you are turning PAS into “un-Islamic” party by being kurang ajar and utterly nefarious and a disloyal figure to PAS's ultimate leadership.
You weren't born when Tok Guru Nik Aziz was fighting for PAS and its ideals. You can't lecture him on PAS and what it stands for. No one in PAS can do.
He is PAS's conscience and his courage and fatigue represents the spirit of this nation.
Despite his advanced age, deteriorating health and uninterrupted 20-year rule of Kelantan, he continues to wake up every morning to serve Islam, his people and nation (you do nothing).
And Malaysians (Muslims and non-Muslims) can attest to one hard fact: that Nik Aziz is the conscience of this nation.
In 2008, you used HIS magic to win a seat in Kelantan while you couldn't dare to stand in your home state of Negri Sembilan.
In 1999, you won a seat in Kedah purely on Anwar Ibrahim's expulsion from Umno which rocked the Malay community to the extreme.
When you stood in Besut, Terengganu in 2004, you lost badly in a purely Malay constituency. What does that tell you?
You have NO influence on your own to steer PAS to greater heights neither do you have the vision to strengthen it for future challenges.
All that you do is engage in shadowy work and even contradict our leaders and betray our friends who have been useful to us.
Ustaz Nasharuddin, when talking about PAS-Umno unity talk, please answer the following questions:1. Why now?We are waiting for answers and we demand them now. We are becoming impatient. When we voted for you (including myself who is a youth leader from Malacca), we did it because we hate to humiliate incumbent leaders and your age also mattered.
2. Why not BEFORE the March 08 general elections?
3. What should we unite for? On what? About what? For what?
4. Is PAS a pure Islamic party that represents Malays and non-Malay Muslims or a Malay party?
5. What are the issues that we need to talk about? List them ONE by ONE. No cheap talk please!
6. Why PAS and Umno and not PAS, PKR and DAP on one hand and Umno/BN on the other?
7. Why PAS and Umno and not PAS and PKR on one hand and Umno on the other?
8. Why you and not Najib Razak and Anwar Ibrahim, after all Anwar has more Malay support than you do and he is the head of Pakatan?
9. What is it that Umno lacks that need PAS support? The passage of Hudud laws in Parliament? Did Umno bring such laws to Parliament in the first place? And even if Umno were to do so, (which will never happen anyway), do we need to talk? Can't we support such amendments while we are pure PAS members in Parliament?
10. Why did we go into the elections to get PAS leaders of our own and now you are telling us that we need to follow Umno leaders? Do you know we paid many prices for being in PAS? Do you know that Umno tormented us for decades for being in PAS? Do we need to list the agony and pain we went through? Or Nik Aziz as Kelantan MB went through?
11. What is it that Umno led by Najib Razak realizes today that needs our support? Be specific. You aren't singing lullabies to children.
12. In what way do we keep the legacy of all past PAS Presidents by betraying their legacies when they left us for God's mercy?
13. Is Umno ready to improve the police, judiciary and civil service personnel that it needs our Parliamentary support?
14. And if that's the case, PKR and DAP will support such plans (which Umno will never do anyway), so when will we have PAS, PKR and DAP vs Umno “unity talk”?
15. Is it us who chose to be the enemies of Umno or Umno chose otherwise?
16. Is it us who tormented Umno people or it is us who paid heavy prices for being in PAS?
17. If the talk is about “issues concerning the nation” as you said, then why do we need constant talk about it in the media so much so that you fail in your parliamentary duties and as a PAS leader?
18. Is it PAS alone that's concerned about the nation? What about PR parties and NGOs? Are they part of the “issue driven discussions”?
19. Why are you interested in something that will divide PAS and make us lose focus while we are on threshold of achieving an imminent victory in the near future insya Allah?
20. Perak PAS Commissioner Ustaz Ahmad Awang revealed in the Muktamar that a “national PAS” leader has tried to influence him to accept an all Malay state government in Perak, who is this leader?
21. Do you think Malaysia as a nation state can continue to exist if we go on that road and impose Malay leadership on a state like Perak which has more than 45% non-Malay inhabitants?
22. In your opinion, was that leader right in suggesting that idea that Ustaz Ahmad Awang rejected?
23. Non-Muslims who have shunned us for 5 decades are running to us; do we embrace them and show them the hospitality and protection Islam offers them or do we return them to the “enemy” they ran from?
24. Umno started attacking the Chinese and Indians when they deserted Umno for PAS, yet Umno won in 1999 on Chinese and Indian vote and not Malay vote, why did Umno not call for Malay unity?
25. Is it only PAS that needs to be fearful of Malays when it gets non-Malay vote? Since when did PAS Malay supporters show enmity towards non-Muslim PAS supporters? Did PAS lose Malay ground by getting Chinese and Indian support? If that's the case, why is Umno desperately trying to woo them back?
26. Do you think Umno would talk of Malay unity if it was getting the “fixed deposit” Chinese and Indian votes as usual?
27. How would Islam's image be affected by your betrayal to the non-Muslims?
28. Do you know that for Islam to be implemented in Malaysia, we need the understanding of the non-Muslim community? Did we learn from Sudan's former military President Jaafar Nimeiri who imposed Sharia while ignoring the views of the non-Muslim community? Many Islamic scholars implored him to “at least” make the non-Muslim community to understand what was being done. But Nimeiri being a military man went ahead and declared Sudan an Islamic state and crushed all the opposition. Today, we have Southern Sudan (to be a separate nation in 2011) as a result. The nation continues to bleed till today. All it took was for one man to rush and pretend that he was intelligent and “God fearing” and that he was “uniting Muslims under God's decrees”.
29. Do you appreciate that Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang have been useful to us?
30. Do you appreciate that DAP has improved our image in the Chinese heartland so much so that Chinese villagers who would have puked at seeing PAS's flag today overwhelmingly vote for us?
31. If yes, how do we repay them? Do we betray them and ignore them or we build better bridges with them and from thereon move forward and have our direct contact with the Chinese community established?
32. Do you appreciate that PKR and DAP have been useful to us? Between Umno and PKR and DAP, which party(ies) has helped us to be where we are now? Umno fought us, fights us and continues to do so in a cruel manner, do PKR and DAP do the same?
33. Do you believe PAS alone can rule Malaysia NOW? If yes, how? If not, how do we go about it?
34. Do you believe that Anwar Ibrahim's New Economic Agenda, the Lingam Tapes, his detailed NEP misuse information, his mistreatment at the hands of Umno, the 1998 episode, his charisma, his experience, his networks, his campaign for our members in different states and his ability to convince DAP leaders to stop attacking PAS and instead concentrate on Umno has been useful to PAS and enabled us to win in a number of places we couldn't imagine? Remember, it was only Anwar and Raja Petra Kamaruddin who repeatedly said Umno will be routed prior to the elections while BN media practically lynched Anwar and asked “who is Anwar”?
35. If your answer is yes, how do we repay him? Do we betray him now or we work with him and after he leaves, we install either you, Husam or Mohd Nizar as a replacement? If not, tell us how you won your seat in Yan in Kedah in 1999.
36. If you have popular Malay support, why did you lose in Besut? Why did PAS lose Terengganu since we are “more Malay” than Umno itself? Did you learn something? Why did Nik Aziz maintain his grip on Kelantan? Any lessons?
37. We used Mohd Nizar as an experiment and it yielded results; how do we achieve a national result now? And in what way does talking to Umno make PAS's ideals realized?
38. An Islamic party has a moral duty to its Muslim and non-Muslim friends. Why are you reluctant to have a “unity talk” with either PKR or DAP or at least PKR which is a multiracial party but a Malay majority party in the grip of Malay leadership as well? Where is your honour in showing respect to comrades who struggle(d) with you?
39. What are the similarities between Umno and PAS that necessitates talk in the first place?
40. Many of our leaders are victims of ISA and other cruel Umno engineered rulings just like all PKR and DAP leaders are as well, what are the ideals we share with Umno that calls for PAS to desert like-minded PKR and DAP leaders for Umno leaders like Najib, Nazri Aziz, Kerismuddin, Bung Mukhtar Radin and Khairy?
41. PAS contested non-Malay seats and won (take Dr Siti Mariah for example); PKR (Malay MPs) have contested non-Malay seats (take Zahrain Mohd Hashem of Penang-PKR) but DAP didn't contest a single seat with Malay majority. So, in what way does DAP constitute a danger to us?
42. If Malays are divided, who is to blame? And when did this division start? How and why was PKR formed? Why was PAS ejected out of BN when we joined them after we lost everything?
43. Which party closed its door on many Malays and even passed a resolution banning the return of any party member who has defected to another party? Umno! The same Umno wants Malay unity now? You buy that? And that unity is about what? After all, even a husband and a wife are not united!
44. PAS has been there for decades, were we united with Umno? If the unity talk is about issues, we supported Umno on certain issues in the past and we can do now when need be, so why talk about unity?
45. Does Umno have a heavenly decree to rule Malaysia and lead the Malays? Why NOT insist on PAS totally replacing Umno as the dominant party in Malaysia and lead Malaysia as well?
46. In what way do we achieve PAS's struggle by talking to Umno or uniting with it?
47. PKR and DAP have supported issue based discussions in the past. Anwar said he is ready to meet Najib on Perak. Anwar said he is ready to support constitutional changes that improve the judiciary and other state institutions. Lim Kit Siang repeated the same. But they didn't talk about PKR-Umno unity or Umno-DAP unity! Why us? Can't we be a constructive opposition party without ever meeting Umno face to face?
48. Why do you need to demoralize the highly charged PAS now?
49. Umno Kelantan leader Che-Alwi has called on Tok Guru Nik Aziz to resign since he couldn't get his “people” into PAS Central working committee, do you realise that it is you more than any one else who has divided PAS and is confusing the younger cadres? And do you cherish Umno leaders badmouthing PAS' most respected political figure? Yet you want to talk to Umno? So you want to reward them for humiliating Nik Aziz?
50. Khairy launched a scathing attack on Tok Guru Nik Aziz and hired Mat Rempits during last year's elections, he said Nik Aziz failed and can't provide leadership. He came up with the Pade-doh campaign that humiliated the elderly leader. Tok Guru cried and many of us did whatever we could to rally to him. The same Khairy today says we should unite. So you support Khairy instead of Nik Aziz? For you Khairy and his ilk are better than Nik Aziz? Explain yourself!
51. Why are you wasting PAS's time on irrelevant issues that will never happen rather than strengthen the party, raise its profile among the unwilling Malay supporters and further engage the non-Malays, Sarawakians and Sabahans?
52. Why are you silent? Why is Utusan your media? Why not the popular blogs, Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider, Malaysia-Today, The Nutgraph etc?
53. Tell us what you have done for PAS and PR in regard to making policies, revising them or coming up with issues that are of concern to Malaysians.
54. Rather than wasting your time in seeking Utusan Malaysia coverage, why not spend time with PAS's soldiers in the trenches in Negri Sembilan, Johore, Pahang, Malacca and other states who are preparing for the future?
55. Umno won't give PAS the PM post, so why should we talk? Doesn't that mean you despise your own leaders?
56. You can't manage a simple victory like the one we have had now, how do you intend to manage a bigger one? You are exactly the kind of leaders martyr Sayid Qutb warned against when he wrote in his “This Religion” book that an Islamic leader who can't manage victory will betray Islam's cause.
57. Do you know for a leader to succeed, he has to be loved by his soldiers? Why are you making yourself hated in PAS and Pakatan? Why not listen to what the voters want? Are you honest with your Creator and yourself and with us?
58. What gives you the strength to contradict Tok Guru Nik Aziz? Is he your age-mate? Can you tell us one achievement he has accomplished on any front that you remotely even tried to achieve let alone achieving?
59. Many people (the intellectuals, economists, authors, NGO's and highly educated/urbanite Malays) don't understand PAS. What have you done in the past one year for them to understand us? What have you done to make PAS liked by all people so that it becomes a giant party in the future and even rule alone or with PKR?
60. Umno is for racism which is haram in Islam, selective justice, tribal hegemony, oppression, exploitation, endemic corruption, family rule, hatred, division, lies, sodomy and dirty politics, total destruction of state institutions (look at Perak), and in Umno's history, it has the least popular leader in Najib Razak today. For God's sake, what do we benefit from such a party and scandalized leadership? Do you believe we share more with Umno than with PKR and DAP?
You were young and we thought a new chance had to be given to you. Removing an incumbent was more traumatizing for us as PAS members than installing a new one.
That is why Datuk Husam Musa was not elected. It is not that he is not liked. He is indeed. Far more liked than you.
From now on, we demand that you stop your unity talk nonsense and concentrate on PAS and PR.
Otherwise tell us the truth and then we can go our separate ways. As simple as that!