Mat Sabu: BN knows that to break PR it must weaken PAS

Zakiah Koya (Fz.Com. 11 November)

PETALING JAYA (Nov 11): Being in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition has propelled PAS to new heights and the coalition is very important to PAS, said PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

He said that in all the General Elections before PAS joined PR, it has only been able to control Kelantan and Terengganu.

“PAS had been involved in elections in1955, before Independence. In 1959, we controlled the two state governments – Kelantan and Terengganu. After that, in every election – 1964, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1995, 1999 and 2004, PAS could control only these two.

“The strongest of PAS members are in Kedah  – the highest we could score in Kedah was 12 state seats in 1999. That time, (the issues were) Anwar (Ibrahim), nepotism and corruption.

“We then started to have the PR coalition – tahaluf siyasi (political consensus). Then in 2008, it was the first time PAS won in Kedah, Perak, Johor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. So, the coalition is very important for us,” he said.

Mat Sabu (as Mohamad is known) was speaking on the Face to Face programme at recently.

He was referring to the recent call by some of the conservative PAS leaders who had called on PAS to re-look at the tahaluf siyasi with PR as they feel that it has affected PAS’ win in the last GE.

He also said that the main reason PAS did badly in the 2013 GE, was not because it was overshadowed by its PKR and DAP coalition partners but because it lost the votes of the Malays who were trapped in the racial issues fed by Barisan Nasional.

Mat Sabu said that the BN went all out using all the government tools such as the Special Branch Unit, the Information Ministry and the National Service Department to hone in the idea that should the opposition coalition win, the Chinese will rule Malaysia and that DAP will hold the PM’s post.

“So, they trapped the Malays and we lost the Malays vote – which is what happened in Malay majority areas where PAS contested. Yet in mixed areas, PAS did well. The Chinese were threatened with “1 vote for PR is 1 vote for Hudud” but the Chinese said, ” We want Ubah (change), we do not care!”. So, 85% of Chinese voted for Pakatan. Which is why we could get Selangor back. The Malays were trapped in the racial issue, which is why we (PAS) lost in Malay majority areas.

“It was the fence sitters – the government officers – who voted for BN. The postal votes we got only 15%,” said Mat Sabu, who will be defending his deputy presidency in the coming PAS elections.

He also said that despite the assumption that PKR and DAP leaders are overshadowing PAS leaders on the PR stage, PAS is actually a very important player.

“We try to be an equal partner in PR. For example in the People’s Rally in January 2013, I led the (thousands of) people. We let them (DAP) to be seen,” said Mat Sabu.

He said that BN knew that to weaken PR, the only way is to weaken PAS.

“To break PR, they have to weaken PAS first,” said Mat Sabu.

He also said he is determined to change the way PAS ulama leaders are taking the spotlight among opposition supporters.

“Our ulama when they give opinions, they are always talking of jurisprudence – for example in human rights and labour and corruption issues. I am determined to change that – why are we not champions against discrimination and for women’s issues?

“The PAS leaders should be at the forefront and we have to persuade them to give their ideas. Our members will follow the party but the non-Muslims, the non members, they want leaders of the party to be champions and be seen to be fighting for them,” said Mat Sabu.

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