In Manek Urai, PAS was the great pretender

(The Malaysian Insider) KUALA KRAI, July 15 — If there was one thing that PAS did well throughout the Manek Urai by-election campaign, it was pretending that all was well in the party.

It pretended that the senior leaders of the party were united, when it was an open secret that certain leaders, including deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, were barred from campaigning.

The ban was only lifted after the state leaders realised the national implication of such an action.

Nasharudin's brief appearance in the rural constituency, and his act of performing prayers with Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, was among attempts to show that all was well between the PAS No. 2 and the state leadership.

The Bachok MP had initially admitted that he was barred from campaigning, only to make a U-turn hours later, pretending not to know anything about such a directive.

PAS also tried to show that the unity government or unity talks episode — which caused the campaign ban in Manek Urai — was finally behind it.

But the problem was hardly solved.

Just weeks earlier PAS Youth and Umno Youth held a joint press conference to announce their intention to hold what they termed as “intellectual discussions”, just one day after senior Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders declared their commitment to the coalition.

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