Monday, June 08, 2009

PAS Needs to Balance Its Ambition With Political Reality

For whatever reason, it is better for PAS leaders to keep their feet on the ground. The party's political resurgence at the 2008 general election was not achieved solely through its own steam.

Precisely, it won by not taking the driver's seat. The party had rightly decided to focus on its Malay heartland. As a result, it was rewarded with leadership of two additional states - Perak and Kedah. This is a formula the party should stick with.

The party's ambition to promote its Islamic governance as the backbone of federal government has been quite consistent. In the recent general assembly, the leadership had offered a similar role to the PR coalition if it wins power in the 13th general election.

There is nothing wrong in the party's ambition if both the coalition and the multiracial society can accept PAS' leadership. However, sadly, the party did very little to explain how it can provide a leadership to this racially and religiously diverse nation if segments of the party continue to speak out harshly against its competitors e.g. Sisters-in-Islam.

According to Awang Hadi, Islam does not teach Muslims to shun others although they may have opposing views with the Islamic party. This statement must be consistently applied to all parties, political or otherwise.

Second, the party leadership had maintained its support for free and open economy. It would have been useful if the party had made this stand clearer. What is tolerable within its own definition of 'free and open'? In the past, its youth movement had protested against various concerts e.g. Rihanna, Pussycat Dolls and others which were seen as harmless and purely entertainment by Malaysian youths.

Would it be able to tolerate establishments such as the Berjaya Sports Toto & 4D, the Genting Highlands Casino and others?

PAS' intention to become a national party and to secure the national leadership cannot be simply measured by the mere 20 to 30 thousand non-Muslim supporters in its supporters' club. Its readiness has to be measured by its political ideology, mindset and stand on various issues and topics which may not be consistent with Islam.

A PAS which has been exposed to the possibility of winning federal power may want to sound as populist as it can be to fulfill its ambition but the bubble can be pricked by its own inconsistency and impatience.

PAS wants its Islamic values to be accepted by non-Muslims as universal values which are fair, just and equitable. The party can still strive to achieve this noble objective even without first capturing the federal government. If achievable, it will give both PAS and Islam a good name.

Again, the party needs to show some consistency here. Its party president wants to discuss the possibility of a unity government with UMNO. Apart from fulfilling the party's ambition to share national power, those who had voted for the PR coalition and PAS cannot find an acceptable reason for the party to pursue this unity talk.

Has UMNO changed? Has UMNO put all the vices e.g. money politics, power abuse etc. behind it? Has UMNO become less racist and more accommodative? Can this unity talk help to make the government less authoritarian by abolishing all draconian laws?

It is up to Hadi to convince his own members and Malaysian voters of his plan to pursue the unity talk.

I was asked by journalists if PAS can win national power by alienating the PR. I responded by saying that it would be impossible for any party which is race or religious based to win national power on its own.

Without the BN, it is nearly impossible for UMNO to become so dominant as it is now. It is given that UMNO or PAS cannot govern by itself without the support of multiracial Malaysians regardless of how insignificant some communities are in numbers. The support of minorities in the first-past-the-post electoral system is very important if voters of major communities are split.

PAS resurgence is a work in progress. It is best for the party to conduct some serious soul searching before taking a shot at national power. Beneath the beard and turban, can its political ideology, mindset and stand capture the imagination of globalizing Malaysia? Can the party appeal to the middle ground?

It is best for the party to keep check of its own ambition. The lure of power is very strong. The temptation had destroyed many parties and coalition. PAS should learn from its 1999 victory and 2004 setback.


Anonymous said...

I just can't get it; in Perak, umno has stolen the state right under the nose of PAS MB Nizar. Then, you hear of PAS top leaders having talks with umno to share power. Pardon me, but isn't this pit-bottom stupidity? A thief stole something from you. You reported the case to authorities (courts) who tells you that what was stolen belongs to the thief, not you. Now you want to talk about sharing with the thief? Have you been charmed or what? Or giddy for power and forgot the real aspirations of the citizens for freedom, justice and equality? Will Pas be hoodwinked by umno? Again? Or worse, will Pas now hoodwink the people who voted for them in March 08? Pas was rejected by many in the past. Pas must remember why they were voted by the people? Are you going to hoodwink the people again?

Wonkie Donkie said...

Hi all,

With all the HOO HAA revolving around the so-called 'Unity Govt.' issue within PAS, it's only CORRECT to conclude the following:

"After all these years, PAS had finally woke up to reality. PAS have recently discovered that UMNO is still the best choice as partners. Partnership with DAP & PKR will only lead PAS to one destination & it's nonetheless......HELL!!!"

CK said...

i felt somehow comforted to see there're still people who have the right mind. i am starting to feel the same about PAS too.

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

masalah bukan dengan PAS tetapi ketua mereka Hadi Awang dan timbalan nya.

pinggirkan mereka dan PAS akan diterima oleh semua lapisan Masyarakat.

Anonymous said...

whether it is pure greed for power or sheer stupidity, umno has emerged as winner in casting a cloud of doubt over PAS.

as it is, as one goes thru comments and whatsoever, they are greatly disappointed in pas.

pas has definitely not learnt the lesson of being used and dumped back then in the 70s when umno was weak and needed pas to support itself.

i seriously wonder how the results would be if najib were to call for a snap general election in the near future; with those pro-umo in pas continue to harp on 'unity gomen'.

as for me, the answr is easy; i will spoil my vote!!! but if a 3-corner fight, then my vote will surely go to dap or pkr. and if the eventual winner is bn? so be it as long as pas is taught a lesson!

anyway, i don't have the time to even follow up on this issue as it is rather clear that pas is not sincere in its partnership in pr.

if pas doesn't realise that the people are ready to teach them a lesson should they betray the people's trust, they will be doomed!

kopitelp16 said...

PAS must understand that the PR will never work with UMNO and being a part of PR must accept this. Otherwise, pull out!

I think PAS is trying to be kingmaker here. If they sensed that being with UMNO gives them more leverage, then they might prepare to ditch DAP and PKR. If they do so, I'm sure come next GE, PAS will suffer greatly.

To me, PAS is just stepping into a trap laid by UMNO to create suspicion among the PKR. Only 1 winner here and it ain't PAS!

Mohd Jamil Borhan said...

As the saying goes, "You can't beat them, JOIN THEM."

And PAS is at its best right now to join UMNO since UMNO needs PAS for its own survival. PAS knows that and so even though it has all along tried so hard to show it is more Islamic than UMNO, now with power within its grasp, it is prepared to tolerate corruption and grand theft by sleeping with UMNO.

But let the small fries beware. Soon those who steal and rob albeit on a lesser scale (as compared to PAS new bed-partner, UMNO) will have their hands chopped off.

As for the future of this country, well, young Malaysians will cease English classes as Arabic will be the new foreign language to be taught in schools. And after banning Sisters-in-Islam, all Malaysian women will be required to wear veil and outer garment or they shall be whipped as they deserve.

Of course, PAS will deny all this but secretly they will think, "Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey."

telur dua said...

Hadi Awang and Nasharuddin must first and foremost remember the name of their Party and what it stands for.

One can't worship Allah and sleep with Syaitan at the same time.

nckeat88 said...

PAS never change from the beginning. They use Islam to acheive their political objective and use religion to conquer others and shut up the opponents. They are the seed of Taliban and should not be given a chance to rule even to the extend of voting the corrupted BN if no other choice available.

Malaysian said...

Saya amat bersetuju dengan pendapat Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz.

Saya undi PAS pada pilihan raya yang lepas kerana saya tidak undi untuk UMNO.

Saya undi PAS kerana saya ingin beri peluang kepada PAS supaya untuk memerintah dengan saksama.

Sekiranya PAS ingin bersama dengan UMNO yang mengamalkan perkauman saya tidak teragak-agak untuk tidak mengundi PAS pada pilihan raya yang akan datang!


Malaysian Come First

romerz said...

60 questions which need truthful answers.

leekh said...

Non-Malays are desperately looking at PAS as a better alternative to UMNO. In doing so they are closing their eyes to the "real" PAS - the majority are myopic, racists and extremists.

non malay said...

PAS is day-dreaming. They are in a world of their own. It dreams of forming an alliance with UMNO with the sole purpose of forming an Inslamic state.
In the interests of the non-Malays is irrelevant.
Irony - an alliance with the devil to promote Islam!!!!!!

Alvin Lee Chow Hui said...

Hi Khoo,
First, I would like to congrats u for your wonderful blog and information.

As for this PAS unity talk issue, I think it is just a political strategy of PAS to strengthen its position in Pakatan Rakyat and weaken PKR. only a political tricks!
read more in my blog at


Alvin Lee Chow Hui