Islamic state not in PAS constitution

The founder of the PAS Supporters Club points out there is a clause for the Islamist party to form a welfare state.

(Free Malaysia Today) – The concept of an Islamic state is not enshrined in the PAS constitution, says a PAS official.

Therefore, the party should stop championing the concept unless it is willing to amend its founding political principles to accommodate the governance policy, modelled after theocracy nations such as Iran.

PAS Supporters Club founder Hu Phang Chaw urged the supposedly warring factions in the Islamist party to revert to the party constitution to settle their present dispute.

When PAS was formed in 1951, there was no element of an Islamist state inserted in the 11 clauses of its constitution.

Instead, there is a clause for PAS to form a welfare society and to uphold the Federal Constitution, Hu said in an interview.

Both the PAS and federal constitutions were written based on references and feedback from the United Nations, he added.

PAS needs to go back to its roots and original struggle to revive its political objectives, or risks the possibility of fracturing into splinter parties again, such as in the early 1980s, Hu said.

He added that the non-Muslim component in the party is watching in disbelief that the party leaders are tearing apart all the political goodwill it has earned since 2004 despite its Islamist leaning.

Ideological divide

There is nothing wrong about a welfare state, as for any country to be a success, political parties must often treat the interest and security of its citizenry as of paramount importance, he said.

Segments of society are rebelling against the Barisan Nasional (BN) now because, although the coalition had previously championed the people’s cause and brought about stability, it seemed to have lost its way now – bogged down with alleged corrupt practices, nepotism and cronism, Hu said.

The outcome is the economy has become weak despite whatever growth projections various quarters may be espousing, Hu said, adding that many now subscribe to the belief that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.

Hu was commenting on the dispute and concerns raised over remarks by former Selangor PAS commissioner Hasan Ali, former deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa together with a host of other party personalities such as PAS Youth head Nasharuddin Hassan Tantawi and his deputy Nik Abdul Nik Abdul Aziz.

To illustrate the ideological divide in PAS, pundits are describing the present disagreement as between the progressive faction, who are influenced by visionary Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the old school of ulamas, who control PAS’ decision-making bodies such as the syura council and the central committee.

Hu advises all PAS leaders to stop the dispute and refer to the party constitution to end their debate about welfare and Islamic state.

“Prepare for the 13th general election and show unity if one still loves the party instead of squabbling,” Hu said.