KUALA LUMPUR – June 8, 2015: DAP leaders and supporters are bracing the possible parting of ways with their Pakatan Rakyat ally Pas after the purge of so-called progressive faction at the Islamist party’s election last week.
For them it sent a clear signal that the Pas’ ulama camp is taking back the party all the way to the extremes of the party’s theocratic ideology.
The Pas election, held in conjunction with the party’s muktamar (annual general assembly) witnessed members of the progressive faction losing all contested posts except for activist Mazlan Aliman, who managed to retain his central working committee post.
With that outcome, Pas is now believed by many as heading towards severing its tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) with DAP after a motion by its Dewan Ulama to that effect was accepted without debate at the muktamar.
Though the motion has not been decided upon by the Pas’ top leadership, most in DAP were of the opinion that the damage had already been done.
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua Kiam Wee expressed his disappointment on his Facebook posting a day after the muktamar ended on Saturday, pointing out that “Pakatan is coming to an end”.
“It was a good seven years and there was and is a real chance of toppling Barisan Nasional. Too bad it has to end this way.
“A coalition cannot exist if its members cannot stick to their agreed common policy platform. It is the end of Pakatan but the fight against BN continues,” the Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament wrote.
DAP political education director Liew Chin Tong who is also the Kluang parliamentarian wrote on his page that the defeat of the Pas progressives and the motion to sever ties with DAP have given rise to new situations and scenarios.
“The hard-line stance on various issues relating to Islam taken by Pas conservatives will mean that voters in Sabah, Sarawak and non-Muslims would not trust the hardliners in Pas.
“Indeed, a vacuum is waiting for the progressives in Pas to fill and in the next weeks and months to come; the search for new paths to fill the vacuum would see major political realignments in Malaysian politics,” he posted yesterday.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang claimed that his prediction that there may not be a Pakatan coalition after the muktamar appeared to have come true and that what is left are the “funeral rites”.
“What has happened is undoubtedly a victory for the Umno strategists and plotters in their conspiracy to divide and destroy the Pakatan coalition with the lure of unity government between Umno and Pas and the implementation of hudud in Kelantan,” he told a local news portal.
What has now been described as ‘pro-ulama tsunami’ at the Pas’ election had also enraged DAP supporters as they lashed out their frustration in the cyberspace.
Soo Chin Kiang posted his opinion via Facebook: “Pas have become a narrow minded party with a dream of government like Iran whereby ulama is supreme,” he said.
Robert Foo said that the almost total wiped out of the Pas progressives who were believed to be more “pro-Pakatan” compared to those of the ulama faction would only hurt the Islamist party’s chance in the next general election less than three years from now.
“Pas is going down the drain. Watch for the next general election. They will never learn from previous mistakes,” he posted.
Vigneswaran Subramaniam was on the same boat as Foo as he wrote: “Pas will not be getting votes from both Muslims and non-Muslims anymore. Pakatan must kick out Pas right now and face the next general election with new and more powerful collision from this second,” he wrote.
Booneng Yong also expressed her unhappiness with the outcome of the Pas election.
“Another dictator using religion as a tool to win,” she wrote.