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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

HEART SURGERY OR NOT, THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER FOR HADI : PAS GRASSROOTS IN TURMOIL, MULL REBELLION AT ‘EGO’ DECISION TO SPLIT FROM PAKATAN

THEY worked well together in the last two elections and even stood side by side in street demonstrations against Barisan Nasional. Many became friends.
But now, the PAS grassroots are stunned. This after the PAS muktamar in Alor Star recently called for the severing of ties with their former ally, PKR.
The party’s highest decision-making body, the Shura Council, last week endorsed the split with PKR.
“These are the same people we worked with to challenge BN. These are the same people we joined hands with in demonstrations against BN.
“How can PAS now ever think they can go at it alone, without the support of Pakatan Harapan,” said Mohamad Khairudin from Selayang Indah in Selangor.
Khairudin told The Malaysian Insight that he witnessed how the cooperation with PKR and DAP helped PAS secure non-Muslim votes in GE12 and GE13.
His home was the PAS operation centre for the Taman Templer state constituency in 2013.
“This is going to make things difficult for PAS. Lessons from the past elections have taught us that we won’t get anywhere alone. It was with PKR and DAP’s help that PAS candidate Zaidy Talib won the seat,” he said.
Zaidy won by 7,467 votes, beating BN candidate Subahan Kamal in 2013. In 2008, PAS failed to take the seat because the Chinese voters there were unwilling to vote for PAS.
Even Zaidy admitted that it was the urban votes, namely from the Chinese, which delivered victory to PAS.
“Now, PAS has lost almost every Chinese vote,” Khairudin said.
After PAS broke ties with DAP two years ago, the Islamist party split, losing a number of leaders and members to splinter party Amanah.
Now, after ending ties with PKR, there is a belief that some PAS members will stay on the sidelines because they fail to see the wisdom of the party going to the next polls alone.
PAS veteran Ahmad Abdullah said: “PAS is now all mixed up and clueless as to what to do. I know they value the cooperation with PKR, like with DAP and Amanah. They know breaking up will kill PAS.
“But because of their ego, they chose to walk alone. Now that they are not with the others, they appear to be indecisive about working with Umno.”
Ahmad, who spent 58 years with PAS in Johor, leading its youth wing in 1964, is so disappointed with PAS that he resigned from the party after the muktamar.
The 83-year-old took 16 family members and friends with him and went to Amanah. Their departure crippled the Parit Medan PAS branch in Semerah, Batu Pahat, as almost all the committee members left with him.
Apart from Parit Medan, Amanah has set up many new branches – nine in Pontian and six in Sri Gading – in Johor, Umno’s birth state.
Ahmad is just one of many PAS members at the grassroots who had quit the Islamist party after the recently concluded muktamar.
PAS supporter Wan Mohamad Yusof said the three PAS excos in the Selangor government – Iskandar Abdul Samad, Zaidy Abdul Talib and Ahmad Yunus Hairi – should resign from the state administration.
“That would be the mature and best thing to do,” said the man, who has voted for PAS since 1978.
Like him, others who had supported and helped the Islamist party campaign in the past general elections could not believe that PAS would turn its back on allies who helped the party win seats.
Padang Terap PAS Youth committee member Muhamad Kassim said the decision to split with PKR has made it difficult for PAS grassroots.
“Since 1999, PAS and PKR had worked well together in the polls and other activities. Of course, going alone will make us weaker. Just like any person. One person is not as strong as two or three people,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
– www.themalaysianinsight.com

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