Nik Aziz crafts an ultimatum for PAS

(The Malaysian Insider) – Even in a season where reform has become the most hackneyed word in the politician’s lexicon, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s gambit in calling for an extraordinary general meeting for PAS has perhaps gone the furthest in defining the Malaysian political spectrum.

By proposing an EGM the PAS spiritual leader is effectively calling for fresh polls to weed out “problematic leaders”, his euphemism for the conservative spine of the party whom he feels are not totally committed to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition.

Ultimately, he is pushing for PAS to be clear once-and-for-all about its agenda and where it stands.

In doing so, the Kelantan Mentri Besar is pushing forward a proposal which is more substantive than the festival of rhetoric at the recent Umno general assembly.

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak spoke of inclusiveness. Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin urged the Malays to end their siege mentality.

But neither leader’s speeches are likely to change what their party’s rank and file think about the concept of Ketuanan Melayu, or Malay Supremacy, or even money politics, the party’s euphemism for vote-buying.

It will not be plain sailing though for Nik Aziz in his campaign for an EGM.

Party leaders have been cautious in their response to the proposal.

They have pointed out that it would be up to the Majlis Syura Ulama or the Religious Scholars Consultative Council to decide whether it is necessary to hold a special muktamar.

The party’s powerful Syura council is led by Nik Aziz (picture) and most members of the central committee are also part of the council.

It is clear from ground reports that there is tension between the young progressive elements and the conservative school.