Quite unexpectedly, we are seeing the first reactions on the just ended PAS 57th General Assembly coming from Umno.
Perkasa, Utusan Malaysia and Umno have all come out to provide their negative commentaries on the party elections. This is most unbecoming of politicians and political tools and PAS meeting had nothing to do with them in the first place. Utusan interfered by spreading propaganda to promote the ulama against the professionals but the voice of PAS grass roots have spoken out clearly in the elections.
Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali was first out of the block on a nonsensical charge that the elected leaders represents Anwar’s voice (read here). His standard wild claims that Hadi Awang and Nik Aziz will continue to support Anwar belittles these top PAS leaders who are mighty in their own right and that Ibrahim Ali rode on a PAS ticket to win the GE12 seat adds salt to the wounds. Ibrahim Ali shows total disrespect for PAS.
Then the Perkasa Secretary General Syed Hassan tries to belittle the newly elected Deputy PAS President Mat Sabu as not finishing his ITM studies and not having any Islamic qualifications. What the PAS grass roots voted is none of his business unless he too stood for elections. The criteria to be voted was to stand for election.
Perhaps it was in reaction to PAS Secretary General Mustafa Ali who led the snub on Perkasa (read here) and outright rejecting the organization’s “ketuanan Melayu” stance and Perkasa felt the PAS rejection very strongly.
Utusan Malaysia today said that Hadi Awang and Tok Guru Nik Aziz have stopped the rise of the ulamas and allowed the professionals to take lead (read here). It appeared that the PAS ulamas were open to unity talks with Umno and now the election results have shut the door on them, thus, placing the balme squarely on the PAS top leadership. What has PAS to do with Umno and Utusan Malaysia? Only their ulterior motives may have been realised by PAS it seems and so this unusual reaction. And the only reason for this is that the top leadership is against all that Umno stands for.
Next is Mukhriz who complained that PAS is giving up on the Islamic State idealism to a Welfare State pragmatism. Although modeled after Islamic thinking, this stance will allow PAS and DAP to further strengthen their cooperation and that Umno will not obviously approve. He contends ludicrously that PKR and DAP have somehow influenced the grass roots votes (read here). One thing for sure, there is no money politics in PAS and that statement Mukhriz made is a wild reaction having nothing better to say.
Then comes Muhyiddin. He claims that PAS has strayed from Islam because of politics (read here). So strange after Hadi Awang drove home so vividly his disenchantment of Umno in straying from Islam too. And Hadi Awang minced no word to attack the corruption, cronyism, and all kinds of claims that Umno has failed.
All in all, Umno and related political tools have attempted to smear the PAS results and newly elected leaders because they know this PAS leadership will no longer be open to Umno’s overtures any longer.
That means the political expedience of using PAS to gain all Malay votes no longer works. Umno has to go back to the drawing board and seek real strategies with meaningful impact on voters rather than a pure political ploy of convenience to garner votes.
As PAS continues to grow its influence on rural communities, they have opened up more maturely and progressively to address issues across all communities. This will definitely increase its appeal to all Malaysians.
PAS is now considering fielding non-Muslims in the coming GE13 (read here) and DAP will continue to field non-Chinese candidates. The success of these two parties will increase Pakatan Rakyat’s chances and diminish the reliance on wobbly PKR and Anwar Ibrahim in the event he is incarcerated yet again later this month.
The panic statements are reactions to a more mature, forward thinking, pan-Malaysian focus, professional outlook and Islamic based party – the “new” PAS, that Umno is frightful of now.
There is a very real alternative to Umno in today’s PAS.