(The Star) - The removal of former deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa from the PAS Syura Council stems from the party's uneasiness and sense of threat over the success of the Barisan Nasional government and Umno in uniting the Muslims, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister, who recently returned from a trip to Gaza with a Malaysian delegation that included Nasharudin, added: “Whatever their (Syura Council) decision was based on, the timing of it created a perception that it was done due to his visit to Gaza.”
Najib told reporters this after opening the Youth Action Forum 2013 here yesterday.
PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who heads the Syura Council, had announced on Sunday that it had decided on Jan 13 to remove Nasharudin due to several factors, including failure to attend council meetings.
Yesterday, the Kelantan Mentri Besar also said Nasharudin, who is Bachok MP, would not be an election candidate as none of the party's divisions had submitted his name.
“It is likely that they (PAS) felt uneasy and threatened by our (the Government's) success,” Najib said.
He said it was unfortunate that action was taken against a PAS leader whose visit to Gaza “was driven by his personal desire for Muslim unity and upholding Islam”.
“That was the view he expressed and his personal stand, for which the action against him was taken,” said Najib, adding that the trip to Gaza was apolitical.
The Prime Minister said the visit was a historic occasion for all Malaysians who supported the Palestinian cause, brushing aside criticisms over the trip.
He said the negative remarks were in opposition to the general sense of appreciation felt by the entire nation of Malaysia's role in helping the Palestinians.