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Monday, September 29, 2014

REVENGE SACKING ON THE WAY? Pas has become holier than thou - Saari

REVENGE SACKING ON THE WAY? Pas has become holier than thou - Saari
PAS state assemblyperson Saari Sungib has warned that his party is treading on dangerous ground with the notion that others have no right to interpret matters from the Islamic perspective.
Having been labelled a "barua" or lackey by his president Abdul Hadi Awang and facing the prospect of disciplinary action, the veteran activist shared his thoughts with Malaysiakini when met at the sidelines of an event over the weekend.
Saari has an illustrious curriculum vitae, having been detained twice under the Internal Security Act, authoring several books on human rights and Islam as well as being the founder of Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM).
The Hulu Kelang representative incurred Hadi's wrath for defying the party and siding with PKR and DAP in the Selangor menteri besar crisis.
The incident once again highlighted the protracted friction between the ulama (clerics) and professional factions in the Islamic party.
Turning the clock back to 1982, Saari said it was a time when PAS considered itself to be the sole authority as an Islamic movement and other similar movements such as his own JIM and the Muslim Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) were viewed as entities that split the Muslims.
"Over many years, PAS has built a notion that it is the sole Islamic struggle that can interpret matters based on the Islamic perspective and others do not have the right to do so.
"This is very dangerous," he said.
Saari said despite PAS having existed for six decades, the party was not well-prepared in coming to terms with diverse viewpoints.
"PAS in over 60 years had not prepared its leadership, political environment and intellectual capacity to deal with diversity of opinions.
"When you are not in power, you don't feel it but once you have power, you feel threatened and you feel challenged and because you are not comfortable, you want to exert your authority," he added.
Old thinking vs new thinking
Dismissing the notion that the party is embroiled in a protracted clash between the conservative forces and progressive elements, Saari preferred to describe it as a division between "old thinking" and "new thinking".
"There are some ulama who are dynamic in their thinking and embrace ideas of democracy and there are professionals who are very rigid, but of course this (latter group) is dominantly ulama and the other group is dominantly professionals and democrats," he said.
Saari and Hasnul Baharuddin, PAS’ Morib state rep, had left Hadi red-faced when the pair pledged support for PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to be the next Selangor menteri besar.
Although PAS and Hadi’s conflicting stands were instrumental in ensuring that Wan Azizah was not appointed, the imbroglio, however, created immense fissures in the Islamic party, and its image was tarnished. - Mkini

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