Democracy is Alive and Kicking in PAS ….PasMA’s Forum
BY ANISAH SHUKRY
Published: 9 September 2014
Some 500 people filled a hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) last night to hear the newly-established PasMa, formed by PAS leaders who want the party to remain in Pakatan Rakyat. – The Malaysia Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 9, 2014.
Some 500 people filled a hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) last night to hear the newly-established PasMa, formed by PAS leaders who want the party to remain in Pakatan Rakyat. – The Malaysia Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 9, 2014.Newly-formed Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia’s (PasMa) first forum last night saw audience members expressing anger towards PAS and its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for his role in the Selangor menteri besar (MB) crisis.
“Since Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was expelled from PKR for defying the party’s orders, what kind of punishment will Hadi face for going against his party’s decision on the MB post?” asked one member of the audience, prompting applause from the packed hall at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH).
Panellists at the forum, titled “PAS and Umno: where are they headed?”, included PasMa president Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi, PAS central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari.
Others in the audience complained how “silly” PAS looked in its handling of the crisis, with one questioning why “moderate” faces of the party such as Mujahid, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Khalid Samad had to explain to the public problems caused by other party members.
Mujahid was careful in his answer, explaining to the 500 people present that PAS would not work with Umno, and that Hadi was not considered infallible by the party.
“You can assume all you want that PAS wants to be with Umno. But I want to say in front of everyone, PAS has no plans or intentions to ever ally itself with Umno,” he said to loud applause from the multi-racial crowd.
However, Phahrolrazi did not mince his words. He said PAS’s actions did not reflect the party’s constant reiterations that it wished to remain with Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
“Sometimes we see PAS reaffirming that it will always stay with PR, but this is not so clear in its actions,” he said to the crowd’s agreement.
“It cannot be denied that Umno’s agenda is to weaken PR, and that its tentacles have reached into PAS and influenced some of its members.
“We have seen this happening. (Former PAS deputy president) Ustaz Nasharuddin (Mat Isa), for example, is very intimate (with Umno) and follows the prime minister everywhere, but he has not been sacked yet.”
PasMa president Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi, PAS central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari at the forum in Kuala Lumpur, last night. – The Malaysia Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 9, 2014.PasMa president Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi, PAS central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari at the forum in Kuala Lumpur, last night. – The Malaysia Insider pic by Afif Raiezal, September 9, 2014.Phahrolrazi stressed that if PAS were to quit the pact and go it alone, it was enough to benefit Umno, as the people would no longer have an alternative government to turn to.
“PasMa is very concerned with PR’s fate. If PR falls, we will return to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s where only one party ruled and the people had no choice,” said the former Kedah PAS deputy commissioner.
“Politics can only be healthy if the rakyat have a choice, and those in power are aware that they can be removed from office by the people.”
The PasMa chief’s impassioned plea for PAS to remain with PR was greeted with roars of approval from the audience, many of whom were willing to sit cross-legged on the cement floor or stand up for three hours to hear what the newly-established organisation had to say.
PasMa, an initiave of PAS members who want the party remain in PR, was launched on August 31 in Kota Baru.
Last night’s event saw a multi-racial crowd, including voters from as far as Kedah.
However, Mujahid refused to be drawn in by the frustrations over Hadi’s role in the Selangor MB impasse, choosing not to criticise him outright.
“We know he is a figure who has played a major role in forming the political landscape in Malaysia and due credit should be given to him,” said Mujahid.
“However, we in PAS were taught the hadith that says loyalty towards other humans is not absolute, and that such loyalty should only be to Allah.
“No Islamist party ever views its leaders as infallible. If they do, they do not understand the concept of obedience towards the leader.”
Mujahid also evaded questions on whether or not Hadi would be punished for his “defiance”, and instead gave a general explanation over the process carried out when a party member was shown to have rebelled against party orders.
This prompted Aziz to say that his fellow panellist were being defensive of the PAS president, to which Mujahid denied.
Questioned about conflicting statements over the MB post, Mujahid reiterated deputy president Mohamad Sabu’s statement on Sunday that the party would reject the position even if it were offered to them.
“The PAS central committee’s stand in the last meeting is that even though we submitted our party member’s name, if the palace offers it, we decided in the meeting we will reject the post,” he said.
But later, Mujahid was unable to guarantee that Hadi would not use his discretion to override the central committee’s decision.
“It was announced in the press conference, so I think the president would respect all the decisions made by the committee,” Mujahid told reporters after the forum.
The PAS central committee had on August 17 decided to nominate both PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy Mohamed Azmin Ali for the Selangor MB post.
But Hadi disregarded the decision, and submitted to the palace the name of a PAS assemblymen alongside two from PKR for the state’s top post.
On Friday, Hadi told a special briefing for party members in Terengganu that he had used the discretion given to him under the party’s constitution in submitting the three names, a statement backed by the party’s powerful Shura Council who said the president had the final say in all matters concerning PAS’s interests.
For Mujajid, it was a “debatable issue”.
“The Shura Council has all the right to give their comments as it is within their jurisdiction but yet again it is a debatable issue because I think the president exercises his right within the limits of other provisions in the constitution,” he said. – September 9, 2014.
– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/anger-at-hadi-in-forum-by-pass-pro-pakatan-faction#sthash.xsx0SLKc.dpuf