SUNGAI BESAR – June 18, 2016: It is without a doubt that the past two years have not been kind to Pas.
Judging from the seemingly constant ordeal it had endured it would not be too far-fetched to say the Islamist party had indeed drawn the shortest end of the straw.
Last year, it lost almost half of its members and leaders after an exodus which followed the final break up between the ulama and progressive factions as well as the demise of Pakatan Rakyat.
Since then Pas had become the favourite punching bag of its former allies, especially DAP.
Be that as it may, the Islamist party has repeatedly pointed out that it has no intention of joining Barisan Nasional (BN) nor does it wants to be pally-pally with its former allies anymore.
Though it had managed to rope an alliance with the Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan), many were still sceptical of its political prowess.
The popular contention was that, its splinter party Amanah had more oomph, due to the fact that Amanah had the backing of PKR and DAP.
With that being the case, many deemed the Sungai Besar by-election will be a heated contest between BN and Amanah, in extension of DAP.
However, what happened on the ground as voters go to the poll today was the exact opposite.
It was Pas’ machineries, members and flags that choked the streets of Sungai Besar.
They were also the most creative of the lot, fashioning flags into big ‘wau bulan’ (Malay traditional kites) and huge arch made entirely of its flags.
Those who were tad extreme in showing their support to the party even strapped flag poles to their cars.
Pas even had more tents in each polling stations as compared to BN and Amanah and its personnel were among the politest of all.
“Win or lose does not really matter. Because what we really want to do is to ‘berdakwah’ (preach) to others and that is what Pas is really about,” said a Pas member affectionately known as Cikgu Rahmah when interviewed outside the polling station of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Hj Dorani here.
“Though it might not necessarily have an immediate effect to the party, good deeds and kind words will always bear fruit,” she added.
Interestingly, despite their apparent chumminess, there was a hint of enmity among Pas members towards their former fellow party members who are now in Amanah.
“They who are now on the other side….hmmm, how should I put it…never mind…” said another Pas party workers with an angry glance towards several nearby Amanah worker when asked about how he felt about them.
Perhaps, some wounds never truly heals.