Democracy is more alive in Islamist party PAS than in Umno, said blogger and former New Straits Times editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic).
Comparing the upcoming PAS elections at the end of this month with the recently concluded Umno polls, Kadir noted that the top two leaders in the ruling Malay party were not elected by the grassroots.
Instead, they were “endorsed” by the party’s powerful supreme council and as such, their legitimacy is restricted to the council’s endorsement.
“Now it’s PAS’s turn to vote for a new leadership. From the start, it is clear that democracy is more robust in PAS as compared to Umno,” Kadir wrote in his blog, adding that while the Umno election results were good for Najib and his supporters, time will decide whether it will be good for Umno.
In the Umno elections last month, president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retained their posts unopposed.
The party also retained its incumbent vice-presidents as well as the Youth and Wanita chiefs for a second term.
In contrast, Kadir said, only the president’s post in PAS, currently held by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, will not see any challenge.
Mohamad Sabu, who is currently the party’s deputy president, might have to fend off challenges from several leaders.
According to reports, four others have been nominated for the number two post.
They are vice-presidents Datuk Husam Musa and Salahuddin Ayub, information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and central committee member Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
Mohamad has confirmed he will defend his post, while Salahuddin has said he will defend his vice-presidency.
To date, the three other candidates have yet to announce their intentions.
PAS will hold its elections and muktamar from November 22-24. Some 1,300 delegates are expected to attend the event to be held at Stadium Melawati Shah Alam. – November 3, 2013.