What makes PAS what it is

Another matter concerns Anwar Ibrahim. I know of certain PAS leaders who think that Anwar is guilty of all those allegations of sexual misconduct and they want him ousted as opposition leader. They have in fact said so in closed-door meetings with their supporters. But they don’t think someone from Umno should replace Anwar.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I have been trying to tell you this for some time. There is not only one PAS. There are many PAS. And this is why we are seeing what we are seeing.

There is PAS Kelantan. PAS Terengganu. PAS Kedah. PAS Perak. PAS Selangor. PAS Johor. And so on. Then in PAS Kelantan we have Team A and Team B. The same in Selangor as well — Team A and Team B — and this follows all over the country.

In a way this goes for PKR and DAP as well — plus all the other parties within Barisan Nasional. So it is not something we need to worry about too much. This has been going on for a long time and will probably go on forever. Politicians will always engage in turf wars and will try to come out looking like a hero.

That is the nature of the beast.

The problem is we always look at PAS as one united party. Then, when we hear what we view as ‘contradicting statements from the party’, we become perturbed. We imagine that PAS is inconsistent and it appears to ding-dong or flip-flop. Actually, it is merely a case of different leaders expressing their view of things. And one leader may have a view totally opposite to another.

This is probably the beauty of the party, unlike Umno where only the President’s view is valid and all others must shut the fuck up (especially when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was its President). But then, when we can’t tell the difference between party policy and the personal view of a certain leader, this creates confusion and we perceive the party as not consistent.

Take the issue of ‘Malay unity’. There are some PAS leaders who will never touch Umno with a ten-foot pole and others who feel that the future of PAS lies in the party ‘working’ with Umno. Officially, the party is with Pakatan Rakyat and will never abandon the opposition coalition. But that won’t stop some leaders from expressing their opinion that a partnership with ‘Islamic’ Umno is better than a partnership with ‘kafir’ DAP.

The issue of beer is another thorn in the side of Pakatan Rakyat. Some PAS leaders want beer banned in the states under opposition control while others feel it is not wrong or illegal for establishments like Seven-Eleven to sell beer.

Then we have the latest issue of the JAIS (the Selangor Religious Department) raid on the church. There are some PAS leaders who feel it is a crime for Muslims to attend church functions while some PAS leaders themselves visit churches.

Another matter concerns Anwar Ibrahim. I know of certain PAS leaders who think that Anwar is guilty of all those allegations of sexual misconduct and they want him ousted as opposition leader. They have in fact said so in closed-door meetings with their supporters. But they don’t think someone from Umno should replace Anwar.

Then I know of certain PAS leaders who are in contact with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and have regular meetings with him. These leaders are of the view that Tengku Razaleigh should take over as opposition leader even if he remains in Umno. This would mean a sort of ‘unity government’ with Umno.

Then there are some PAS leaders who believe that Anwar is guilty but he is still the best candidate for opposition leader. So they are prepared to ‘close their eyes and ears’ and ignore whatever is said about Anwar although they believe there is some element of truth in those allegations.

Then, of course, there are some PAS leaders who think that Anwar is absolutely innocent and a victim of fitnah (slander).

So we must understand the nature of that beast called PAS. Different people have different views. And we have to respect that and not become too worried about it.

Even amongst the readers of Malaysia Today there are many differing views. Some of you think that Anwar is God’s gift to Malaysia and others who think he is a slime-ball and scumbag. Aren’t you entitled to your views? Well, the same goes for the PAS leaders — they too are entitled to their views.

So don’t get overly worried. Whether it is the Islamic State issue, the matter of Malay unity with Umno, the banning of beer, Malays going to church functions, or whether Anwar is guilty and should resign, with one million PAS members we are certainly going to see different people having different views.

That is what democracy is all about I suppose — the freedom to have your own opinion. 


Selangor PAS wants explanation from Hasan Ali

(Malaysiakini) – Selangor PAS will demand an explanation from state exco member Hasan Ali over the latter’s defence of the controversial Jais raid on Damansara Utara Methodist Church (DUMC) this week.

Selangor PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad however said that they will only comment on the matter after all the relevant information is in hand.

“We hope for all to exercise wisdom over this issue. We reserve comment until we get hold of the Jais report and top state leaders will meet with Hasan Ali to get his explanation,” said the Shah Alam MP.

“We will see what is the evidence that he claims there is (to justify Jais’ raid),” he added.

He said with the exception of “one leader”, no one amongst them has raised the question of the alleged conversion of Muslims in relation to the DUMC event.

Hasan yesterday claimed that Jais had “proof” to back their disruption of the multiracial dinner at the church on Wednesday.

This came shortly after after Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had expressed his regret over the incident and given assurances to the community.

On Wednesday night, Jais officers raided the church in Petaling Jaya and disrupted a multiracial thanksgiving dinner, over allegations that there were attempts at converting Muslims to Christianity. 


Kit Siang: Hasan Ali breaking ranks with Selangor

(The Malaysian Insider) – Lim Kit Siang today accused Selangor executive councillor Datuk Hasan Ali of breaking ranks with the state government, after the latter issued a statement conflicting with Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s over Wednesday’s church raid.

The DAP party advisor said Hasan’s open defence of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) should be viewed seriously, as it came immediately after Khalid expressed regret over the incident.

“What is a matter of concern and must be viewed seriously is the public defence of the Jais action by Hasan, issued shortly after Khalid’s statement expressing regret for the raid and asking Jais to submit a full report on the incident — as it is an act of breaking ranks in the Selangor state government,” he pointed out in a statement here.

Lim added that Khalid’s response had been “timely and appropriate” as the raid was “deplorable” and detrimental to efforts to build a more open, tolerant and harmonious plural Malaysia.

Jais enforcement officers swooped in on a dinner function at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) late Wednesday night after receiving an unspecified complaint, bringing with them a team of policemen.

In an immediate response, Khalid called on Jais to furnish the state government with a full report on the purpose of the raid, and gave his assurance that the state government fully respects freedom of religion and rights of religious groups.

But Hasan, a Selangor state executive councillor, then spoke up in defence of Jais, alleging that the words “Quran” and “pray” were used in the presence of the 12 Muslims at the dinner function.

He claimed this was evidence that Christians were proselytising Muslims.

Hasan’s party colleague, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, immediately sought to distance PAS’s state leadership from its former chief by saying it was “not Selangor PAS’s stance”, revealing a deep and continuing rift between the Islamist party’s liberal and more hardline factions in the state.

PAS’s national leadership also stepped in today, telling all parties to refrain from issuing “provocative” statements over raid despite the conflicting views expressed by leaders within its own ranks.

The party’s National Unity Committee chairman Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa issued a statement here expressing fear that the sensitive issue may be exploited to further endanger interreligious harmony in the country.

“I call upon all to restrain from making provocative statements regarding the issue and respect the month of Ramadan in observing sincerity and abstain from spreading falsehood,” he said.

Mujahid, who is also PAS central working committee member and Parit Buntar MP, added that interpretation of the raid on the DUMC has so far been “gray” as details of the incident have yet to be revealed.

Among others, he said it was important to ascertain the basis of the raid; its legality; if a warrant had been issued prior to the raid; and the exact events that transpired on Wednesday.

“Jais must explain to the public what actually happened and do not let the gray area be interpreted by ill-minded racist and religious fanatics. Worse is when the media sensationalises the whole issue to the whims and wants of racist political parties,” he said.