Hadi’s absence at Pakatan meet ‘not silent protest’

By Lee Long Hui (MKini)

Claims that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s absence at the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council meeting was a silent protest against the candidate for the post of Selangor menteri besar have been rejected.Hadi, who is suffering a health problem, decided to delegate party deputy president Mohamad Sabu and secretary-general Mustaffa Ali to the meeting.This was done after Hadi chaired the PAS central committee meeting yesterday morning, PAS central committee member Dzulkefly Ahmad (right) said today.“We were together with him (during PAS central committee meeting) and when we had decided that  the menteri besar candidacy issue), our president asked to be excused from the Pakatan meeting as he was not well.“He delegated the task to Mohamad Sabu, as the party deputy, and the secretary-general, and then said that he wanted to be excused from the press conference as well.

“And in the afternoon, during the Pakatan meeting, he was not feeling well, so that was what I was told.

“But that does not mean that he is against (the decision). He trusts fully his deputy and secretary-general to carry the duty,” Dzulkefly said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

Hadi had raised eyebrows over the difference stands taking by factions within the Islamic party as to who should take over as Selangor menteri besar.

Hadi had openly supported current Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to continue holding office, before PKR expelled Khalid from its membership.

Yesterday morning, the PAS central committee meeting proposed Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy president, Azmin Ali, as candidates to take over from Khalid.

Later yesterday, the Pakatan presidential council meeting unanimously decided to nominate Wan Azizah as the sole candidate to be the head of the Selangor government.

The joint statement on the announcement was signed by Mohamad Sabu, or Mat Sabu, as he is better known.

‘Hadi made the two-candidate proposal’

According to Dzulkefly, the proposal of two candidates was from Hadi himself and it was accepted unanimously during the party central committee meeting.

“We were quite anxious on what he was going to say, you know. Just imagine, if you say something that could be unacceptable to us, then it will create a debate again,” he said.

Nevertheless, Dzulkefly said, the differences of opinion among PAS leaders and grassroots members over the Selangor menteri besar issue was not a serious matter.

He described the differences in opinions as normal and acceptable as they showed that PAS is a “dynamic” political party.

“PAS has more thinking people, more professionals and more ulama leaders. I think the check-and-balance and the dynamics of the party are becoming more vigorous now.

“I think that is good. Moving forward, I don’t think this is negative… I think this is the essence of the dynamism of a political party,” he added.

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