KUALA LUMPUR – May 26, 2015: Political analysts have noted that the Pas’ ulama’ faction now appears to have the upper hand in their tussle with the so-called ‘progressive’ faction ahead of the party elections next week.
Professor Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek of National Council of Professors (NCP) holds the opinion that the party’s imbroglio became apparent when those from the ulama faction were set to contest almost all vital party positions.
“Based on my observation, that party members are currently not satisfied with the direction that current Pas is heading and they want to restore Pas to its former glory.
“For instance, normally the position of president is decided in a consensus via the ‘syura’ council but now we have a veteran leader, Ahmad Awang who will be contesting for the presidential post.
“Even the party’s deputy president position that is currently hold by Mohammad Sabu (Mat Sabu) will be contested by current vice-president, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man,” he told The MOLE.
Abdul Halim is also of the view that, the ulama faction will use the upcoming muktamar (annual general assembly) which coincides with the party elections to rejuvenate the party’s Islamic credentials and eradicate any elements that are corroding them.
Furthermore, he opined that Pas would not suffer should it decides after an ulama faction’s victory “to walk on their own” by leaving the Pakatan coalition.
Calls within Pas, especially those made by known members of the ulama faction, for the party to pull out of Pakatan have grown louder of late following a very public dispute with DAP and PKR over the party’s ambition to implement the Islamic criminal laws or hudud in Kelantan.
“In fact, Pas would do better if they leave Pakatan, because in terms of garnering supports, Pas has always received tremendous support from its supporters,” said Abdul Halim.
Another political analyst who shares the same opinion is Professor Datuk Dr Zainal Kling of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), who said that previously Pas did not have much ‘non-muslims’ support but still managed to fare well.
“If we take a look at the recent Rompin by-election, the number of votes the party has gained is almost equal to the one that it had received in the last general election.
“Thus it shows that in Muslim majority areas, the party’s supporters will continue to support Pas whether they are in the Pakatan or not,” said Zainal.
He also observed that the upcoming muktamar would provide the ulama faction the most conducive environment to oust their rivals from the ‘progressive’ faction.
“Members of the ulama faction may likely able to do this by convincing their supporters that they still have the vigour to spearhead the party towards its original Islamic goals,
“If they succeed in convincing their supporters that Pas will never bow down to any friend of foe, then I am certain they will dominate the party elections,” said Zainal.
The Pas’ muktamar and party elections will be held in Kuala Selangor between Jun 4 and 6.