You know, when I read in Malaysiakini that Nasha [has been] booted from PAS' syura council and the ensuing rejoicing among many Pakatan people, notably from PKR and DAP, I sighed and shook my head lamentably because they obviously didn't notice what has been involved - namely, that Nasharudin Mat Isa has ONLY been removed from the party's Majlis Syura ... and not booted out from the party itself.
Perhaps their rejoicing has been premature. I'll give my take shortly after we recall why he has been removed from PAS Majlis Syura.
Malaysiakini reported (extracts):
Nasahrudin & Najib in Mecca
Nasharudin was once a leading figure in PAS until news reports claimed that he was trying to convince party leaders to forge closer ties with arch-rivals Umno due to religious reasons, instead of secularist DAP and PKR.
On several occasions, Nasharudin had attempted to drive a wedge between PAS and its Pakatan Rakyat allies, such as by claiming that DAP had prayed for the formation of a Christian state after the Sarawak state election in 2011.
Irking party members further was Nasharudin's apparent cosy ties with Umno. He had accompanied Prime Minister and Umno president Najib Abdul Razak abroad a few times, most recently to Gaza.
(left to right) Palestinian PM Haniyeh, Najib, Nasharudin
Look, I opine if it had not been Nasharudin it could and would have been Hasan Ali, Zulkifli Nor, or a host of other PAS blokes who prefer to be pally buddy with their political foe, UMNO, rather than their mainly non-Malay political ally DAP (or PKR, but definitely the former), so there's no point in blasting Nasharudin because that would not help understand where he has been coming from.
To understand the mentality of Nasharudin and people of his ilk, it may be helpful if we pull up the UMNO Ketuanan Melayu mantra of raja, bangsa, agama dan negara.
Note that I have place negara last as it's my personal belief very few of the UMNO or PAS worry about it, unless they can argue that negara refers to an only UMNO-Malay country.
Okay, maybe if pressed, they would probably rationalize that once the first three, namely, raja, bangsa dan agama have been duly defended and upheld, negara would automatically be taken care of.
We could argue over this all day until Shahrizat's missing cows do the impossible and come home, and still won't agree. Anyway, I opine the so-called Ketuanan Melayu struggle is all about power and its control, and of course the associated and most important privileges and benefits that come along with it. Only in the most exceptional circumstances would UMNO's Ketuanan Melayu be really about bangsa.
Examining raja, bangsa dan agama, this mantra can be further reduced or crystallized into just one word, either bangsa or agama because for a Malay-Muslim, these two factors are indivisible.
What about raja then? In my opinion, raja and the sanctity of the institution would be an intrinsic component of Malay culture and Malay psyche, and again cannot be separated from bangsa.
Thus UMNO can yell bangsa or if it likes, agama, though currently the latter has assumed far greater importance than the former because (a) it demonstrates to the Heartland that UMNO is (still) the intrepid defender of Islam, (b) it allows UMNO priests to issue fatwas to its political advantage, and (c) it drives a lovely wedge between PAS and DAP, or even PAS and Anwar because the latter's stand on the Allah word has deeply riled many PAS people.
Incidentally, on this I must compliment Anwar for assuming a firm Pakatan approach than his usual tap dancing self.
* in case some of you may question why I compliment Anwar on this when I have been consistently against the Christian Church using the Allah word. And that's because they are separate issues.
My stand against the Church has been based on my belief (or suspicion) that the Church's arguments has been obdurately implausible and thus indefensible (and I provided all my reasons for my stand), whereas my compliment for Anwar on the same issue has been about his firm stand on an already agreed Pakatan policy even though I personally disagree with that policy.
I suspect PAS' volte-face has been due to one of two reasons, or even both - it fears that as an Islamic party it's losing grounds as well as its Islamic credentials to UMNO on the Allah word controversy or it has been a coup d’état by its party's Majlis Syura (many of its members other than perhaps Pak Haji Nik Aziz have been uncomfortable working with a secular DAP), or both.
Even PAS party president Mat Sabu has no choice but to toe the Majlis Syura line, whence he did a belakang pusing on the use of the Allah word by the Church, a 180-degrees departure from his earlier stand which indicates an ominous portent of things to come if Malaysia is ever ruled by PAS.
I had warned in my post PAS - from Progressive to Pythonic that once Malaysia has been established as an Islamic State, we can forget about Westminster democracy, where any of its pseudo-democracy and associated institutions under Islamic rule will automatically come under the control of a supreme, non-questionable, non-challengeable (a la the fatwas of the Kedah MB), and totally dictatorial religious Majlis ...
... and as mentioned by RPK in his post Friday prayers are NOT compulsory, said the Mufti, the process in an Islamic environment is not democratic and not questionable even by logic, reason, precedent or rules.
But the Malay nationalists in PAS (and that's who some of them really are), much as they believe in bangsa, can only scream agama because politically it has only the religious warrant, unlike UMNO which can switch flexibly (or unscrupulously) from bangsa to raja to agama to negara and even to 1Malaysia as its clarion call of the day without any qualms or embarrassment, wakakaka.
Yes, more than a few PAS members possess a similar belief in UMNO's Ketuanan Melayu because the ethnocentric Devil is still ensconced in our political-social-cultural DNA.