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Saturday, February 28, 2015

PAS to break apart by June?

Party research chief predicts pro-Anwar anti-Hadi group will form new party
pasbreak2KOTA JAYA: PAS may break apart by the time of the party congress in June, according to the head of the party’s research centre.
Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marsuki said the rise of factions within the party since 1998 which were incompatible with the leadership of the ulama would result in the departure of those opposed to party president Abdul Hadi Awang and the formation of a new political party.
Dr Mohd Zuhdi, who heads the PAS Research Centre, believed it would be the best solution to the party’s current internal crisis.
He also saw little hope in further strengthening the party’s ties with the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, its partners in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Mohd Zuhdi traced the rise of factions within the party to the opening up of the party and the influx of new members since 1998 (after Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from the Mahathir Mohamad government) as the cause of the current internal turmoil.
PAS was then under the leadership of ustaz Fadzil Noor, who had opened up the party to Muslim technocrats, urban professionals and intellectuals.
Fadzil’s move to broaden the party’s focus to social and economic issues, willingness to link up with other opposition parties, and lessening the hardline Islamism of the past, attracted a new class of members and an influx in the years of the Reformasi movement after Anwar’s sacking.
They became labelled the “Erdogans” after the Turkish prime minister, and were seen to be in opposition to the ulama, hitherto the dominant influence in the party.
Mohd Zuhdi, without mentioning names, said the party’s internal turmoil had grown since 1998 with the rise of certain groups who wished to topple PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
“In 1998 PAS had became so open causing the entry of many groups from outside, and the group formed a team in PAS,” he said. “Before (1998) this culture of ‘teams’ did not exist in PAS, and now it is endemic,” he said after a forum on the future of PAS yesterday.
Mohd Zuhdi believes the anti-Hadi group will eventually leave PAS to form a new party. “I’m sure after PAS congress (in June) one of the groups would leave and form a new party.” He said this would restore harmony in the party.
He said other challenges facing the party was the opposition of the DAP, the party’s partners in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, against the implementation of the hudud penal code in Kelantan.

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