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Thursday, June 29, 2017

2 FACTIONS, 2 CHIEFS – PRO UMNO & ANTI UMNO: WHO WILL WIN, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO PAS?

IT is not a crisis situation yet but PAS rank and file are getting conflicting signals from their top two leaders on who the party should work with in the run-up to GE14.
Party president Abdul Hadi Awang, currently recovering from bypass surgery, is intent on working with Umno and to make sure that his party follows his wishes by putting like-minded PAS officials in key positions before he checked into the National Heart Institute last month.
Hadi, who believes that preserving Malay political powers trumps everything else, has also emerged as the chief apologist of the government’s handling of 1MDB, the biggest scandal since independence in 1957.
On the other end of the PAS spectrum is acting president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
He has emerged as the strongest critic of the 1MDB scandal. He also fears that the party will lose its prized possession, the state of Kelantan, in the coming election if PAS goes ahead with its plan to sever ties with the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan. He believes that a three-cornered fight in the east coast state will be disastrous for PAS.
In response to the risk of losing Kelantan, the party’s acting chief is attempting to forge a loose partnership with PKR and Bersatu.
This strategy has received the support of PAS grassroots leaders and members who are in favour of working with the Opposition and cannot stomach the idea of a ceasefire with Umno, the party’s nemesis.
Every move by Hadi Awang and Tuan Ibrahim are being watched and digested by the party faithful.
Prior to his operation, Hadi Awang chaired a PAS central committee meeting on May 6, where he announced a reshuffle aimed at ensuring a smooth passage for his plans to work closer with Umno.
During this meeting, he appointed his politicial secretary Dr Samsuri Mokhtar as the election director, replacing veteran politician Mustafa Ali.
Iskandar Samad, who was PAS Selangor commissioner, was also removed due to his close working relationship with PKR, especially Selangor MB Mohamed Azmin Ali.
In order to strengthen the ties between PAS and Umno financially, PAS Perak commissioner Razman Zakaria was appointed as the party’s new treasurer.
Barely a month later, acting party chief Tuan Ibrahim re-appointed Mustafa and three other party leaders back into the leadership fold.
Mustafa was elected chairman of the party’s advisory board, along with Dr Sanusi Daeng Mariok, Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman and Subky Latif.
“The re-appointment of Mustafa into the PAS leadership through the advisory board will create a challenge of power within PAS. This is because Mustafa has been working hard all this while with the opposition, especially PKR and Bersatu, while Hadi has been cooperating with Umno,” said political analyst Hisomuddin Bakar of Ilham Centre, an independent research house.
But if Tuan Ibrahim believed that the momentum had swung his way, he is mistaken.
PAS’ Strategic Research Institute (IPS) director Dr Khairudin Aman Razali, who recently took over from Dr Khazani Mohamad, fired three of the institution’s leaders – Zaharudin Mohamad, Dr Zainal Abidin Kidam and Dr Nazri Chik – who have been vocally opposed to the union with Umno.
Dr Khairudin has been named by Bersatu leaders as one of five key PAS leaders who are strongly against forging any cooperation with the Mahathir Mohamad-led party.
Also, the powerful Syura Council of PAS remains under the control of Hadi Awang.
It was the Syura Council that in May officially ended all political ties with PKR. This decision caught many by surprise including Selangor MB Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president.
He had been given assurances by Tuan Ibrahim and Mustafa just ahead of the announcement that the Islamist party would not break off ties with PKR.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com

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