The democracy in PAS — Shamsul Jamal

NOV 19 (TMI)

Over the weekend in Kota Baru, we caught a glimpse of what goes on in PAS and what it is capable of from the debates and discussions at its muktamar.

One thing is clear, the PAS muktamar was like a breath of fresh air for those who truly believe in democracy. The rank and file questioned the leadership and even ticked off leaders and their party newspaper, Harakah, for its fashionable liberal views.

But did you hear angry words or haranguing from the leaders? No. The PAS leaders responded with reasoned replies and not threats. It was a civil and intelligent exchange of ideas during the muktamar.

Also, no shrill declarations, no waving of keris or talk about Malay dominance under threat or a Christian conspiracy to take over the country or even the political threat posed by non-Malays or non-Muslims.

One can hazard a guess that only insecure people would suggest such scenarios to maintain their hold on power and position. But not the PAS leadership.

Of course, BN-controlled The Star and other mainstream media did its darnest to scare-monger against PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang about becoming the prime minister if Pakatan Rakyat takes Putrajaya.

Or that the PAS leadership is hell-bent on implementing hudud for all and sundry and that would affect our Malaysian way of life that we should be grateful for over the past 55 years.

But truth be told, the craziest comment on hudud came from a former Umno president and it appears the conscience of the party, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He had said that hudud should be applied to non-Malays and Malays equally. That one statement tells us the difference between PAS and Umno: PAS is fair and Umno tramples over the rights of non-Malays as it sees fit.

You don’t see him say that all benefits should be given to non-Malays and Malays alike, do you? Yet, this is politics and Umno politicians know how to make their opponents appear more unreasonable than them.

Yet, PAS has shown over a weekend that it can be as democratic as other parties in the West, and accept differing views. That it has a leadership that recognises what Malaysia is now and has the ability to work with other parties for a better Malaysia.

PAS has changed since it was formed in 1951. So has Malaysia from the time of independence when we were grateful to the Alliance for getting Malaya independent.

The greatest change is, of course, we now know the value of our vote. And PAS this weekend showed it is one of the possible choices to govern Malaysia in a democratic and fair manner. Amen to that

* Shamsul Jamal reads The Malaysian Insider

2 thoughts on “The democracy in PAS — Shamsul Jamal

  1. Hi Dr.

    I have been your strong supporter since you last came to Penang to give a talk. The recent PAS dialog revealed the true nature of PAS. You said it right-no keris waving, no fear of the Christians trying to dominate the country and all the idiotic fears that UMNO is trying instill into the Malays. They should be ashamed of themselves. Really , it is that mamatkhutty who really destroyed Malaysia and kept the races apart. All my coffee kaki will vote PAS should they stand in our constituancy. We get that MCA, Gerakan and other UMNO prostitutes out come this election. Out.! By the way, those former corrupt politicans are still roamig free and you can still see them joging in the Botanical garden. Now there is a big hooha over some land deal made by Pakatan and BN is making it into a big issue. They(BN) got away quietly with millions when they were in power and the paper just refused to highlight it.

    We need more people like you sir. If that mamatkhutty wants to talk about Ketuanan Melayu then you will be our kind of Tuan not that scoundrel of a racist from India.

    God bless Cheah

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