KUALA LUMPUR – June 11, 2015: Members of the vanquished Pas progressive faction have urged the party’s newly elected leadership to salvage its tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) with Pakatan Rakyat allies, especially DAP.
Known for championing the cooperation, the progressive faction was virtually wiped out by their ulama rivals at the party polls last week, raising fear among Pakatan supporters that the coalition may break up amidst intense disagreements between the Islamist party and DAP.
Former youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat said the widening gap between Pas and DAP after the purge of the progressive camp has to be fixed to ensure the longevity of the coalition.
“The progressive faction was the one handling negotiations between Pas and DAP but now that the pro-ulama has monopolised the hierarchy, there is an extensive gap between the two parties.
“The new leadership must find new formula to fill the gap and strengthen the coalition,” he said.
Suhaizan also expressed hope that the new Pas leaders would not turn their back on the voters who supported the party for its alliance in Pakatan.
“Pakatan supporters are already feeling unhappy with the endless feud between the two parties. We have to remember that without their support, we are nothing.
“Both DAP and Pas must find a solution to our disagreement over several issues and the only way to work through our differences is by holding an amicable discussion to sort out the matters at hand,” he added.
Suhaizan had lost his post to Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz, a staunch member of the ulama faction and son of the late Pas spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
The domination of the pro-ulama bloc in the party election was perceived by many as a signal that the party is adamant in severing its ties with DAP.
Such speculations were heightened following a motion to that effect by Pas’ Dewan Ulama was adopted without debate at the party muktamar (annual general assembly) held alongside the election for the new leaders.
Though the final decision has yet to be determined by the Ulama Syura Council, DAP spared no time putting the heat on Pas’ representatives in Pakatan controlled Penang and Selangor.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who is also the Penang chief minister was reported as saying that Pas representatives have ‘no choice but to resign’ from the state government and its agencies as well as municipal council and Village Development and Security Committees.
DAP’s Segambut parliamentarian Lim Lip Eng was also reported by a local English daily calling for the resignation of newly-elected Pas vice-president Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad and his colleagues from the Selangor government.
Meanwhile, former Pas central working committee (CWC) member Khalid Samad said the new Pas leadership is only trying out new approach in handling the predicaments between Pakatan allies by taking a firmer stance.
“We were regarded as soft and weak before. I guess the new leadership believes that a new modus operandi would further strengthen the coalition but I beg to differ.
“If we truly want to save the alliance, we have to respect the (Pakatan’s) common agreement and each other,” he said.
The Shah Alam member of parliament also suspected that the freshly elected leadership is already seeing Pakatan as a two-party coalition, that of Pas and PKR and without the participation of DAP.
“I will wait and see how the new leadership is going to steer the party.
“In the meantime, I will continue to support the new leadership as long as the party does not stray from its path,” he added.