A party leader feels that the Islamist party needs synergy between young professionals and religious leaders in its youth movement.
PETALING JAYA: (FMT) PAS central working committee (CWC) member Dzulkefly Ahmad said that the Islamist party needs young professionals, as well as those with solid religious background in its Youth wing to push its agenda forward and win the hearts and minds of voters.
“I know for a fact that we have young and competent professionals, maybe they are not in the front line as yet,” he said in an interview with FMT.
He however contended that the Islamist party needs more English-speaking youth leaders to cut across new constituencies and regain lost ground in urban constituencies.
“If we could get more English-speaking youth leaders, perhaps they could take on engagement and activism that would cut across new constituencies and new sections of youth,” he said.
Dzulkefly said this in response to the alleged lack of activism within the youth wing in championing a certain cause. Although disagreeing that PAS youth leaders are disengaged with the public, he nonetheless admitted that the party needs more English-speaking leaders.
“Although PAS youth leaders may not be visible in taking the public platform, youth leaders such as Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi and Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz are in fact connected within their domain of activism.
“In both rural and urban settings of Muslim-majority constituencies, they do conduct and partake in sports and entertainment activities,” said the former Kuala Selangor MP.
He however admitted that efforts, thus far, in constituencies where non-Muslims are the majority, have not been much.
“I must say that they have yet to come into direct contact with English-speaking and more urbane kind of constituencies,” he said, acknowledging that the rakyat want PAS youth leaders to be seen engaging with more non-Muslims.
When asked on how the party will find ways to shore up support, Dzulkefly said it is important for the party to remain principle-centred and steadfast.
“It is in our conviction that we must always be principle-centred, yet able to contextualise to our varied demands of a plural society. However, it is always easier said than done.”
He elaborated that this is because a plural society brings about double-edged demands which are usually mutually exclusive.
“When you attempt at appeasing one section of the society, you actually incur the wrath and hatred of another.
“It is here that PAS thinks that the safest thing to do is to always remain principle-centred and [be] guided by our principles, we must always remain consistent and steadfast,” he said.
He added that it is especially important when dealing with double-edged issues, citing the ‘Allah’ issue.
“The rakyat want to see whether PAS is consistent or do they double speak.
“It is equally important to always be relevant and you must touch base with the rakyat,” he said.