KUALA SELANGOR – June 5, 2015: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang went into damage control mode today as he tried to heal the party in the aftermath of a bruising contest between the ulama and so-called progressive factions in the party election.
Speaking to reporters during the muktamar (annual assembly) here, he expressed optimism that the synergy between the ulama and progressive factions would remain strong despite their differences.
Hadi said that the progressive faction consisting mainly of professionals remains well represented in the hierarchy.
“If we look at the list of winners, the professionals managed to clinch positions in the CWC through former Immigration deputy director-general Razman Zakaria and former lecturer Datuk Dr Fadzli Hasan,” said Hadi.
But some say the names mentioned by Hadi are in fact believed to be more with the ulama camp, leaving activist Mazlan Aliman as the single progressive member in the CWC.
While Hadi retained his position, the result of the other contests turned the tables around.
Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man defeated incumbent Mohamad Sabu for deputy president, followed by defeats for incumbents Datuk Husam Musa, Datuk Mahfuz Omar and Salahuddin Ayub from the progressive faction in the contests for vice-presidents which were won by Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah, Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad and Idris Ahmad.
Hadi thinks it’s too early to say if the victories by the ulama faction would cause PAS to lose support among non-Muslims.
On the motion carried by the Dewan Ulama for PAS to sever relations with the DAP, Hadi said this is for the Syura Council to decide.
He reiterated that the relationship between PAS and its Pakatan Rakyat partners DAP and PKR is solely based on the tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) but this is not something cast in stone.
“We have practised tahaluf siyasi since the 1950’s with the Socialist Party and then Semangat 46, among others. We cooperate with other parties for the betterment of the people.
“However, it does not mean that we are bound to one party forever. We may call it quit with one party and build a new relationship with another if the existing cooperation no longer serves its purpose,” he said.