Muslimat PAS voice wanting in decision making within PAS

Lo’ Lo’ kecewa peranan diberikan pada Muslimat masih kecil
Roy Rasul
Sun | Jun 07, 09 | 2:49:37 pm MYT  HarakahDaily.Net
SHAH ALAM, 7 Jun (Hrkh) – Pengerusi Lajnah Kebajikan dan Masyarakat, Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali berkata, beliau melihat dalam muktamar kali ini, peranan yang dimainkan oleh muslimatnya semakin mengecil.

“Saya menerima beberapa aduan daripada Ketua Muslimat dan juga wakil Muslimat yang dinafikan mewakili kawasan atau bilangan mereka semakin dikurangkan,” katanya.

Sehubungan itu katanya beliau berharap usia PAS yang semakin matang itu memberi perhatian di atas perkara tersebut.

Beliau yang berucap dalam sesi penggulungan Muktamar kali ke-55, hari ini berkata sudah sampai masanya Muslimat yang sebelum ini diberi peranan yang sangat besar dihargai sebagai jentera dan diberi tempat untuk berada di dalam peringkat membuat keputusan dalam parti.

“Sudah sampai masanya Muslimat melepasi era ‘tea lady’ dan bukan sebagai AJK hadiah, cenderahati tetapi muslimat hendaklah bersama-sama berperanan untuk membuat atau memberi sumbangan serta cadangan untuk membuat keputusan di peringkat pusat,” katanya.

Dalam masa sama beliau turut menyentuh isu Nisa’ atau wanita muda dan remaja dalam PAS.

Katanya, beliau agak terkilan kerana lebih 10 tahun Nisa masih lagi di peringkat yang tidak memberangsangkan.

Sebaliknya beliau berkata baru-baru ini didapati ada cadangan yang sangat baik iaitu memantapkan Kelab Penyokong PAS sehingga menjadi sebuah dewan.

“Saya kira sepatutnya Nisa yang ke depan dulu kerana Nisa lebih lama hendaklah diiktiraf dan dihargai dan diletakkan sebagai sebuah sayap dalam PAS dab bukan berada di bawah Dewan Muslimat selama-lamanya,” katanya.

Katanya beliau menghargai sokongan golongan muda di seluruh negara dan peranan Nisa sangat besar.

Kerana itu katanya kerjasama dan memposisikan Nisa di tempat yang jauh lebih baik iaitu sebagai sayap atau dewan baru parti.

Selain itu, beliau turut menyentuh mengenai pakaian kaum wanita sebagai pemerhati dan wakil media.

Katanya, Dewan Muslimat sememangnya sangat menggalakkan pakaian yang menutup aurat dalam menjaga sentiviti dalam muktamar.

Tetapi katanya dalam masa yang sama PAS sewajarnya mengambil pendekatan Menteri Besar Kelantan Tuan Guru Nik Aziz di dalam memimpin dan menerajui Kelantan berkata PAS mengambil pendekatan dan menerang, mendidik dan memberi pilihan-pilihan yang lebih baik kepada mereka bukannya secara paksaan. – mns_

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Many now think it is not PAS per se, but it’s PAS Hadi Awang and Nasharudin

Well, those are the words from some PAS people and the Rakyat…
on the issue of  Unity Government…

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PAS owes explanation over unity talks
Athi Veeranggan | Jun 8, 09 12:03pm Malaysiakini.com

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PAS leaders owe a thorough explanation to Pakatan Rakyat top leadership on the party’s unity talks with Umno, DAP leader Lim Guan Eng said today.

As a coalition partner, the DAP secretary-general pointed out that PAS should not keep its allies, the DAP and PKR, in the dark over its ambitious plan to form a unity government in collaboration with Umno.

lim guan eng penang pc 100409Lim said the PAS leadership had never explained to the Pakatan leadership over its alleged unity talks held last year with Umno.

He refuted claims by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang that Pakatan leaders were receptive to the unity talks when PAS explained it to them.

“Pakatan leadership never discussed the unity talks, neither did PAS inform us about it.

“We are unaware of the goings-on,” he told journalists after witnessing the swearing-in of new Penang Island Municipal Council president Tan Cheng Chui.

Be truthful

Lim reminded Abdul Hadi to be truthful and be a God fearing person.

“As a religious man, one will not be answerable only to DAP, but also God,” he said.

pas muktamar 070609 hadi awangThe issue of unity talks dominated PAS’ annual congress over the weekend with many leaders and delegates slamming the party leadership’s initiatives to hold talks with arch rivals Umno to form an ambitious unity government at the federal level.

Even the much-revered PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat and ousted Perak menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin openly opposed such an idea, which if materialised, could weaken the Pakatan coalition.

The unity talk was the main reason for Kelantan PAS strongman Husam Musa to challenge Nasharuddin Mat Isa for the deputy president’s post. However he was defeated by the incumbent.

“There were too many unity talks with Umno much to my disliking.

“PAS should replace Umno, not complement it,” Husam had told journalists a week before the contest.

To be raised at next Pakatan meeting

Nasharuddin has reportedly started the unity talk with Umno with a blessing from Abdul Hadi much to annoyance of many PAS, DAP and PKR leaders.

The unity talks left Pakatan in lurch and the alliance is now seeking answers from PAS leadership.

Sources close to Anwar Ibrahim said that the PKR supremo feared a Pakatan break-up due to Nasharuddin’s overzealous attempt to grab federal powers via collaboration with Umno.

The sources claimed that the unity talks began the very next day after Pakatan scored unprecedented electoral gains in last year’s general election on March 8.

“The people wanted to change the country’s political landscape away from Umno’s dominance and hegemony.

“But Nasharuddin was playing right into Umno’s game,” added the sources.

Lim pointed out that even PAS was internally divided over the issue and many were unhappy with the party’s collaboration with Umno.

He hinted that the Pakatan top leadership would hold a meeting during next week’s parliamentary sitting, in which PAS would be quizzed over its ambitious unity talks with Umno.

Wan Azizah: Important for them to explain

Meanwhile PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that it was important for PAS leaders to explain on their idea of unity talks with Umno.

bukit gantang by election wan azizah ceramah 020109 03However she added that PKR will not deter PAS from holding such talks.

“Neither will we question their intentions to discuss with any parties on matter of national interest,” she said in a statement today.

She also stressed that PKR was committed to ensure that Pakatan always remained in a strong and united position.

“We hope that our partners PAS and DAP will also have the same commitment,” she said.

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Khairy: Time to revive Umno-PAS talks
Jun 8, 09 3:55pm Malaysiakini.com
While others around him dither, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is keen to see progress in talks between Umno and PAS even if a unity government does not materialise.

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khairy jamaluddin and umno“Umno is not too concerned about forming a unity government. Instead, it wants to establish a common understanding with PAS,” he wrote in his blog today.

He urged the two parties to set aside their differences and work towards finding a common ground in tackling national issues.

“Hopefully, a common understanding towards these issues would demonstrate moderation and progressiveness. If this leads to something more concrete, we hope that both sides will discuss again in future,” he explained.

A roundtable discussion would not only strengthen Malay unity but will also be beneficial to society at large, he said.

“It would be a reflection of maturity and far-sightedness,” he added.

Mixed response

The PAS elections, concluded last Friday, saw the pro-ulama faction – which is inclined to hold talks with Umno – gaining a stronger foothold in the higher echelon of the Islamic party.

Party president Abdul Hadi Awang and newly-elected deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa made it clear the Umno-PAS talks will resume in time to come.

nik aziz angry and pas 020607However, the proposal was firmly rejected by PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who is aligned to the liberal ‘Erdogan faction’, which wants to strengthen the party’s ties with Pakatan Rakyat.

The Umno-PAS talks were initiated to discuss matters related to Islam and Malay unity after the general election in March last year.

PAS had previously complained that Islam and Malay privileges have been de-emphasised by Pakatan, which is allegedly been dancing to the tune of other partners PKR and DAP.

Former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had confirmed meeting PAS leaders on three occasions to discuss the possibility of a merger. He had declined to name whom he had met, except to say that Nik Aziz was not part of the talks.

PAS: Open discussion for all

as in PAS for all?

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Hadi: Let’s not shut our doors to others
Rahmah Ghazali and Hafiz Yatim | Jun 7, 09 9:07pm Malaysiakini.com
In his closing speech at 55th PAS muktamar in Shah Alam today, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang sought to paint a liberal picture of not shutting its doors to other parties for discussions.

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pas muktamar 070609 hadi awangThis is despite criticisms leveled against the party leadership for opening discussions to arch-rival Umno following last year’s March 8 general election political tsunami.

According to Hadi, Islam does not teach Muslims to shun others although they may have opposing views with the Islamic party.

“Islam will not be with us if we do not fight for the cause as a whole. We cannot just rely on ourselves… we need to meet everyone to have an open discussion,” he said.

Instead, Hadi urged that the party should instead fight against the “real” enemies and not the “imaginary” enemies as those are different in nature.

“Don’t waste our time chasing these imaginary foes until we ignore the real ones,” said Hadi, in an apparent reference to Umno.

However, in his winding-up speech he did not elaborate on who the “real” or the “imaginary” enemies were.

“What we have to do is prioritise peace because we want to save humanity… (With this) we should attract more supporters and voters as many as we can for our party,” he said.

On the same note, Hadi asserted that there is no need for PAS to share “other people’s ship” as “our ship is already strong enough”.

“So there is also no need for us to even join the Barisan Nasional ship,” he said, drawing cheers from the delegates.

Consultation does not mean sharing power

Elaborating from Hadi’s speech, deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa stressed that any talks with Umno or any other party would not mean that it endorses “power sharing”.

pas muktamar 070609 nasharudin mat isaSpeaking to reporters later, he said that such discussions are needed for the “benefit of the people and the nation pertaining to current issues that need to be answered”.

“(However), I have to reiterate that PAS joining Umno is a non-issue as we are only concentrating more on discussions.

“Besides that, we are open to discussions regardless of who they are. If MIC wants to talk to us, we would welcome it,” he said with a laugh.

To a question whether such a move would result in a further split to the party, Nasharuddin however remains positive that the party could manage and accommodate “different views”.

“We practice the principle of rights… that is why the muktamar is held in the first place where they could debate anything on everything. So we could gather different viewpoints in order to determine the direction of the party,” he said.

In his response to spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who yesterday ridiculed the suggestion of a unity government, Nasharuddin said this was “his personal view”.
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“But we prioritise more on the party’s overview. Even now, we don’t have any concrete decision on these talks with Umno. It is a very general statement and not at all specific and I will leave it to the party to decide,” he said.

They have been our political enemies, but…

pas nik aziz speech 060609 audienceAccording to Nasharuddin, although still many senior members felt that it was wrong to hold talks with Umno which had backstabbed PAS in 1974, it does not mean that “we cannot go back and talk to them”.

“They have been our political enemies but that does not mean that we should shut the door for us to have a dialogue on issues related to the benefit of the people and the nation.

“It is not just about sharing power and not just about going to form a (unity) government, that is not the issue,” he said.

When asked if the top leadership would not be “suspicious” with their old political enemy, Umno, who have been open for discussions since their setback in the general elections, Nasharuddin jokingly said: “Well we have more bargaining powers on our side”.

“But of course, it does not mean sharing of power. It is about coming out with (unlimited issues) like discussing about the betterment of the current judicial crisis or Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, we can start from there,” he said.

He however believes that DAP and PKR will not oppose to what the party is doing as the party is determined not to join BN or Umno.

“We are not joining BN, we are not joining Umno… (all this will) be explained by the president, and (the issue) is going to be settled,” he said.

Bridget Welsh say what?

Change for PAS or PAS for change?
Bridget Welsh | Jun 7, 09 4:40pm
In Selangor’s touted Islamic city of Shah Alam, PAS held its important 55th Muktamar and elected its new crop of leaders, who turned out to be overwhelmingly incumbents.
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Media reports have described the results as reflecting a tension between two camps in the party – the conservative ulama-led Islamists and the progressive, more liberal professionals, labeled the Erdogans.

They have portrayed the contests, especially the competitive deputy vice-presidency, as hinging on the party’s willingness to engage in dialogue and potential partnership with parties outside of the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat, notably Umno, and tied this to the viability of the opposition alliance as a whole.

A potential PAS alliance with Umno would forge a Muslim Malay majority and exclude non-Malays, who have been portrayed by some in favour of this alliance as gaining too much ground from the March 2008 polls and would irrevocably split the opposition alliance.

These characterisations of the dynamics in PAS are based on two simplistic assumptions that there is a clear continuum between conservatives and liberals within the party, and racial politics dominate the motivation of its members.

Both assumptions are flawed. As such, the framing of dynamics within PAS has missed its mark. It is no wonder the results are being described as “mixed”, because the lens to understand current party dynamics is inherently blurred. Refocusing is needed.

Diversity not division

The results of the PAS polls should be seen in their totality, not just for particular contests. Overall, the number of ulama and ‘conservatives’ elected into positions of power dropped.

The new line-up in PAS – including the women, ulama and youth wings, are more diverse than before, and include greater number of professionals and ulama from a variety of backgrounds. The main point to take away from the results is the inclusiveness of greater diversity of voices within the party.

The labels of ulama and professionals are misleading. There is a tendency to treat all respective ulama and all professionals as the same, when in fact a closer look shows that individual political positions within PAS and the two ‘camps’ are fluid.

Many ulama are more moderate than some professionals and many professionals are more conservative than some ulama. Overall, the ulama in the central committee, for example, are much more open than those in ulama council.

PAS is increasingly becoming an umbrella party that represents the diversity of Malays in Malaysia as a whole. The tendency to compartmentalise the leadership and party delegates into camps misses the real picture of the dynamics within the party.

More important, labels and outlooks are changing within PAS. Consider the victor in the deputy presidency race, Nasharuddin Mat Isa. Only four years ago, when he was elected in 2005, he was touted as the leader of the ‘progressives’. Today, he was labeled as the defender of the ulama, the voice of conservatism.

Nasharuddin’s political identity remains unclear, as it is being shaped by forces within the party and the rapidly changing political environment in Malaysia rather than driven by a fixed outlook.

He represents the position of many leaders within PAS who are politicians, and are inherently political animals rather than ideologues. As political animals, they operate through persuasion and interests, rather than principles and with fixed ideological positions.

New and old points of contention

The political environment has changed fundamentally from when the ulama-progressive division was stamped on the party in 2000.

At that time, the point of contention was whether to impose an Islamic state top-down through formal transformation of political structures such as the introduction of syariah law or whether to adopt a more inclusive strategy of multi-ethnic cooperation and with an emphasis on broader Islamic principles of justice and anti-corruption.

At issue were the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims to practice their religions as they see fit rather than the interpretation of a few religious scholars, many of whom have limited exposure to non-Muslims and have been shaped by parochial outlooks of rural life.

Implicitly, another dimension involved the willingness of PAS leaders to respect alternative views of governance and cooperate with other political parties. The issue of Islamic state became the main obstacle for Barisan Alternatif, and ultimately the victory of the ‘ulama’ in 2001 in favour of introducing formal measures, particularly in the state of Terengganu, stymied opposition cooperation.

Conditions for revitalising inter-opposition cooperation had been in play for at least two years before the last general election in 2008, as cooperation through movements such as Bersih had forged relations, and dialogue had deepened.

PAS leaders from 2004 onwards, after their decisive loss, had seemed to slowly accept the principle of multi-ethnic cooperation and had put the Islamic state on the back burner. The victory of Nasharuddin in the party polls of 2005 signaled the move toward more pragmatic politics and an acceptance of the political reality that PAS cannot hold national political power without the support of non-Malays.

The creation of the non-Muslim support group within PAS after two years of negotiation with the party represented an embrace of the non-Malay community, as least symbolically.

With March 2008, a new reality set in. PAS was catapulted to power in three state governments, one on the backs of a majority of non-Malays in Perak.

At the same time, it is third fiddle in terms of numbers in Parliament within the national opposition, a position that has fed insecurities within the party and underscores one reason for some of its leaders in reaching out to Umno.

The other is that the 2008 polls have been portrayed as a victory for the non-Malays (another misrepresentation) which has further fed insecurities in PAS, as issues of Malay identity and Malay rights – now closely tied to Muslim rights – has come to the fore.

The main contests have moved from the Islamic state and multi-ethnic acceptance to a perceived protection of Malay/Muslim rights and the position of the party nationally.

Insecurity lies at the roots of discussion with Umno and shapes the relationship with its partners in Pakatan Rakyat. It is in this context that the label Erdogans from Turkey’s Islamic party has emerged, pasted on those who want cooperation within Pakatan and are willing to treat the opposition parties equally.

Everyone else is grouped in the ‘ulama’ camp, which is in fact full of diverse views and different priorities that range from revitalising the Islamic state to assuring that PAS is the opposition prime minister.

In simplifying the camps into a polarised ulama-Erdogan continuum, the diversity of issues contested within PAS are muddied and ineffectively lumped together.

The reality is that the ideological landscape within the party is complex and complicated, and simplifying it forces the debate into polarised positions that could very well undermine the opposition as a result of misinterpretation and exacerbate divisions within PAS.

Deciphering the results

If ideology is more complex than the ulama-Erdogan dichotomy, what then explains the party poll results? It’s politics – not ideology.

The first factor is incumbency. From the main central committee to the women’s wing leadership, incumbency is the main consistent feature in the results. The party delegates were resistant to giving new positions to new leaders.

The only major exception is Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who has emerged as the leader in PAS that can genuinely bring the Islamic party out of its parochial leadership and engage non-Malays.

The fact that this engineer, who has serendipitously risen to the national stage, received the highest votes in the central committee speaks to both his celebrity status and what he represents for those interested in national ambitions for the party. This aside, incumbency remains the most powerful political force within PAS.

Closely tied to the issue of incumbency is the fact that change does not come quickly in PAS. The party’s mantra of working by consensus (even when consensus does not really exist) – and the complicated fact that all think they are “right” in their missions for God which entrenches stubbornness – underpin slow change within the party.

PAS delegates hate their party laundry being washed in public, preferring internal resolutions to issues. As such, the support of incumbents, including Nasharuddin and established figures such as Mahfuz Omar, point to greater acceptance of what is known rather than the unknown, an attempt to keep differences outside of public purview.

The political culture of slow change and closure is further reinforced by the culture of follow the leader, which is tied to a deep-seated trust in party leaders – almost blind loyalty – among many delegates who view their leaders on a mission for their religion.

Political culture is shaped by another dimension, generational dynamics. Most of the delegates are in the 40s, overwhelmingly male. Most entered politics from the late 1980s, when the party transformed from a grassroots rural base to a more urban professional composition. It also was a time when serious religious conservatism set in. These mixed tendencies are reflected in the results.

Many of the delegates reflect the outlooks of when they entered the party and the socialisation of the party during these years. At the same time, there is noticeable resistance of the older leaders in the party to give up power.

The reality is that many older members and leaders feel more comfortable with their chosen representative, Nasharuddin, than an ‘upstart’ such as Husam Musa. A generational conflict is also played out over links to Pakatan leader Anwar Ibrahim, possible relations with Umno and how the party should relate with non-Malays. Indeed in PAS, generational differences are sharper than ideological labeling.

Return of Terengganu hegemony

The fourth factor is geography.

The PAS election results represent a return of Terengganu hegemony in the party. This pattern was evident after 1999 through to 2004. Now, every major organ in the party is led by someone from or raised – new Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan is Pahang-born – in Terengganu.

The fact that Terengganu leaders do not hold major positions at the state level and nationally has allowed them to focus on defining and quietly campaigning early for the party contest.

Every state was divided in its votes at the party polls – except Terengganu – and as such, it has emerged in a position of power. This will create tensions long-term and highlights the complexity of different outlooks in the party. The political effectiveness of Terengganu members and leaders in mobilising supporters should not be underestimated.

Another political aspect that was so effectively harnessed was the issue of personality. Perhaps more than earlier contexts and as a result of the complexity of the issues, character became more important in this contest, superseding issues such as work for the party.

For example, all the candidates for the deputy presidency were slandered in a vicious behind-the-scene campaign. Personal jealousies also came to the fore, as some delegates reflected insecurities about threats to their own positions especially in the state of Kelantan.

Pride on the part of candidates kept people in contests, even when it was well-known that splits in votes would occur. The fact that personal interests were more important than the ideas that candidates were touted to represent show perhaps more than anything that the ideological divisions in PAS are not as clear-cut as they have been portrayed.

Treating the results as a return of ‘ulama’ rule is a mistake. The results are tied to political changes within the party and politicking.

The deputy presidency, for example, was won through more effective campaigning that tied to the political culture in the party and generational transformations.

The return of the women’s chief showed the power of incumbency. The ulama council shows the entrenched hold of older leaders onto power. The new blood in the women and youth wings, by contrast, showed generational pressures and transformations.

Complexity, diversity and a degree of political insecurity reigned in the PAS polls, not ideology or externally imposed labels.

Part 2 tomorrow

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DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor in Southeast Asian studies at John Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington DC. She is an observer at the PAS muktamar. The article above is first of a three-part series. The other two parts will appear in Malaysiakini in the coming days.

Muktamar Muslimat PAS 4 Jun & Muktamar PAS 5 Jun

Ketua Wanita, Zuraida Kamaruddin dan Timbalan KW, Rodziah Ismail dan EXCO Wanita, Rozaini Mohd Rosli di Muktamar Muslimat PAS :

Nuridah Salleh, Ketua Muslimat PAS yang telah mengekalkan jawatan Ketua Muslimat PAS dalam pemilihan yang telah berlangsung semalam:

Bersama beberapa pimpinan Muslimat – di antaranya Mona dari Pahang:

Setiausaha Muslimat PAS, Salbiah sedang berbincang bersama pimpinan PAS:

Di Muktamar PAS pula; kelihatan Ketua Wanita, Zuraida Kamaruddin bersama Bridget Welsh, pakar politk Asia Tenggara:

Dr Halima, Exco Kerajaan Negeri Selngor, telah kembali menjadi AJK Dewan Muslimat PAS:

Pimpinan Tertinggi PAS di Mukatamar PAS 2009:

Anugerah Pejuang Bahasa kepada A. Samad Said dan Hassan Ahmad:

Muktamar Muslimat PAS & Muktamar PAS (updated)

Debate motion for ulama to head PAS rejected
Abdul Rahim Sabri, Jimadie Shah Othman & S Pathmawathy | Jun 5, 09 9:44am Malaysiakini.com
A motion to debate a resolution by the Ulama Council of PAS that all senior positions in the party – the president’s, the deputy president’s and one vice-president’s post – be reserved to the

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ulama (religous scholars) has been rejected.

pas muktamar 55 agm 050609 07PAS Muktamar Debate Resolutions Committee chairman Mahfuz Omar said today the motion from the Ulama Council was thrown out as it did not follow procedures.

Mahfuz, who is also PAS information chief, said the proposed motion also did not fulfill all the criteria that would allow it be debated at the on-going 55th PAS Muktamar in Gombak, Selangor.

He added the motion would have to be discussed at the PAS central committee level first as it involved amendments to the party’s constitution.

The motion to reserve senior posts in the party for the ulama was tabled by PAS Terengganu’s Ulama Council last night.

Advice to both ulama and professionals

Meanwhile, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang asserted at a press conference that the Islamic party’s ulama (religious scholars) and professional factions will continue to work together.

pas muktamar 55 agm 050609 01Commenting on the rejection of the motion to debate the Ulama Council’s resolution, Abdul Hadi said: “I’ve not gone through the motion completely yet…  but PAS will manage with the cooperation of both the ulama and the professional factions.

“We will be able to work together as long as the ulama do not become dictators and the professionals do not become too greedy,” stressed Hadi following his keynote address at PAS’ 55th Muktamar in Shah Alam.

Most importantly, no matter who is in charge of PAS, it must be understood that the religious scholars should not be sidelined in party, said its leader.

The secret meetings between PAS and Umno have driven a wedge between party members, forcing them to choose between the ulama faction, which is in favour of the unity talks, and the professional faction, which prefers closer ties with Pakatan.

Hadi: Pakatan members back unity talks

Hadi, who bagged the party’s presidency uncontested, took pains to explain his proposal for a unity government.

He said PAS will continue to encourage dialogues with all parties and added that while its Pakatan coalition partners – PKR and DAP – were not eager to jump straight away into such talks, they have however reacted positively to the idea.

pas muktamar 55 agm 050609 02“(It is) not just members of Pakatan who support us fully but also members of Umno, who want our cooperation to work together in solving the problems confronting the country,” he insisted.

Moreover, he also refuted questions that PAS’ engagement with Umno would raise problems within the opposition coalition.

“To engage in dialogues is part of the democratic process… the priority should be placed on what is good for the people and the country,” he said.

“But we don’t want to undertake this matter hurriedly. We need to study it in detail in our effort to promote unity between the political parties in this country,” said Abdul Hadi.

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DAP supremo refutes Hadi’s claims
Jun 5, 09 3:56pm Malaysiakini.com
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today disputed PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s comments that the Pakatan Rakyat partners had reacted positively to the formation of a unity government with Barisan Nasional.

“The question of unity talk to form a Pakatan Rakyat-Barisan Nasional government never arose or discussed at any Pakatan Rakyat leadership meeting,” said Lim in a statement today.

pas muktamar 55 agm 050609 05″Secondly, on the so-called unity talks to form Umno-PAS government, it is something I read in the media. The subject was never discussed or raised in any Pakatan leadership meeting,” he added.

He was commenting to Abdul Hadi who told reporters at a press conference at the PAS Muktamar that both PKR and DAP have reacted positively to his suggestion in forming a unity government.

Abdul Hadi also said that PAS will continue to encourage dialogues with all parties.

“(It is) not just members of Pakatan who support us fully but also members of Umno, who want our cooperation to work together in solving the problems confronting the country,” he insisted.

Unity talks a party election issue

Moreover, Abdul Hadi refuted questions that PAS’ engagement with Umno would raise problems within the opposition coalition.

“To engage in dialogues is part of the democratic process… the priority should be placed on what is good for the people and the country,” said the PAS president.

pas muktamar 55 agm assembly 050609 04″But we don’t want to undertake this matter hurriedly. We need to study it in detail in our effort to promote unity between the political parties in this country,” said Abdul Hadi.

Lim was also present at the muktamar opening ceremony this morning. However, he left before Hadi’s press conference.

He said that he did not know what Hadi had said at the press conference but was commenting on the matter in view of public interest in the matter.

Lim nevertheless made a general observation that political parties and political leaders must be prepared to talk to anyone on any issue concerning public interest.

The issue of unity talks between PAS and Umno has caused much concern among the Islamic party members, let alone the Pakatan partners.

The contest for the deputy president’s post today will be pitting challenger Husam Musa, who is a pro-Pakatan reformist, against incumbent Nasharuddin Mat Isa is labelled as an ulama in favour of talking to Umno.

Apa sedang bberlaku dalam PAS?

Husam confirms contesting No 2 post
Abdul Rahim Sabri & Hafiz Yatim | May 25, 09 12:40pm
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PAS vice-president Husam Musa has confirmed that he will contest the deputy president’s post, now held by Nasharuddin Mt Isa, during the party polls early next month.

Fellow vice-president Mohammad Sabu is also a candidate for the post.

It will no easy task for Husam to dislodge Nasharuddin, said to be in the pro-muqabalah faction which favours forging relationships with the rival Umno rather than strengthening ties within Pakatan Rakyat.

While Nasharuddin is a religious scholar, Husam is an economist who does not appear to have the Islamic credentials required to lead the party.

husam musa pas annouce contest of number 2 post 250509 02Breaking months of silence, Husam made the announcement at a press conference this morning at the party headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur.

Seen as being in the Pro-Pakatan Rakyat or ‘Erdogan’ faction, Husam cautioned party members “not to dance to Umno’s tune, some particular media and the outsiders” who want to influence the results for the party leadership.

Erdogan refers to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is known to be a moderate Islamic leader.

Husam said he is confident of his ability to be a good leader – one who can support and complement party president, Abdul Hadi Awang in leading PAS to develop politically and replace Umno as the main political party in the near future.

“After considering all aspects, including the aspirations of the various PAS areas which have nominated me, I have decided to accept the nomination as a candidate for the deputy presidency for the 2009-11 term,” he said.

“I also pledge my loyalty to Abdul Hadi, Mursyidul Am (spiritual adviser) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and the Syura council.”

Given the realities of politics today, he said, this could be an opportune time for PAS to replace Umno as the dominant political party. However, this can only be achieved if PAS remains a rival to Umno and not an ally in any form.

“The trust that non-Muslims have placed in PAS is flourishing, and we should not betray such trust in the context of dakwah or political strength. We can become a party that is trusted along with our allies in Pakatan, and stand tall with them,” he said.

Formal announcement tomorrow

Asked whether his decision to challenge Nasharuddin and Mohammad is a firm one or if this is open to a compromise, Husam responded that he had taken a long time to arrive at the decision.

“It (my intention) to contest is final,” he said.

hadi awang 00Asked to explain the ‘unity government’ concept suggested by Abdul Hadi (right), Husam declined to do so, saying he does not want to be drawn into a complex topic.

As to whether he sees himself as a liberal leader, Husam commented that Nasharudin has been liberal – “at times too liberal when leaning towards Umno, and this cannot be accepted”.

“In my opinion, PAS needs to be in the centre, and we need not be too open to Umno or save Umno,” he said.

dr haron din pasAsked to comment on the views of deputy spiritual leader Dr Haron Din (left) who has warned the party about “traitors” within, Husam attributed this to being Haron’s “personal view”.

“I know that the paper he presented (at a seminar) was his own… If it has yet to be accepted… we don’t need to debate or comment on it,” he said.

On Saturday, Haron had warned members to be wary of PAS leaders who are sponsored by “enemies including Umno and foreign agents”who may be playing a part in the upcoming party elections.

He had suggested that the party tightens the mechanism of choosing leaders in order to stop the “traitors” from rising up the ranks.

mahfuz omar 02Meanwhile, information chief Mahfuz Omar has confirmed he will mount a challenge for one of the three slots for vice-president, now that Mohamad and Husam are vacating their posts.

“I am not representing any faction but just interested in serving the party and lifting it to greater heights,” Mahfuz said.

The party is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow at which the candidacy for all posts will be formally announced.