The trouble with PAS

By Shanon Shah (The Nut Graph)

ON 5 June 2009, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said cooperation with Umno was the answer to the country's problems during a press conference at PAS's 55th muktamar. On 22 June, Hadi made a U-turn and said, "Umno has played up [the unity government] issue to try to say that PAS will leave [the Pakatan Rakyat] and join them … This is evil slander, designed to create conflict, instead of unity."

Hadi's turnaround is not without context. After the muktamar, on 13 June, DAP chairperson Karpal Singh called Hadi an "embarrassment to Pakatan" for pursuing the idea of uniting with Umno. On 17 June, PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat told party deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa to join Umno if he was so intent on forming a unity government with them. 


But after all of these outbursts within PAS and among its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners, PAS and the PR are now saying everything is fine again. Nik Aziz and Nasharuddin have made up, with Nik Aziz going so far as to laugh off their showdown as "miscommunication" played up as part of "Umno's cheap political game". But pointing fingers at Umno's desire to break up PR does not answer the question — what is up with PAS?

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