Penang PAS alleges being sidelined in state policies and appointments, wants more say

(TMI) – Penang PAS has flexed its muscles, sending a message to the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership that it wants equal standing with its colleagues from the DAP and PKR. If not, the party will walk.

The party, which has one state seat in Penang, said its deputy state commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff wants to be consulted on policy-making by the state government before final decisions are made, among other things.

“We are not going to let the party be viewed as a puppet in Penang.

“Penang PAS, with all due respect, will withdraw and resign from state positions and appointments offered if the state government and the state PR Council do not take our demands seriously.

“We will also review our position in the state PR if PAS is no longer needed in the state government to safeguard our principles and the dignity of our struggles,” he told a press conference in Seberang Jaya today that was attended by several state party leaders.

He said even though the party has one seat in Permatang Pasir, it did not mean its voice, contribution, service and professionalism in Penang can be disregarded.

The party is demanding that all political appointments in the state government that are set aside for PAS must be made only after consulting and getting consent from the party.

Otherwise, Fauzi said, Penang PAS will consider the action as sidelining the party, and will not acknowledge the appointments and will even take action against the individuals involved.

He said the party wanted its state commissioner and sole assemblyman Datuk Mohd Salleh Man, who is also state religious council head, to have full power over the appointments of council members and board of directors in agencies and subsidiaries under the Penang Islamic Council (MAIPP), without any interference from the state exco.

He alleged that there was unnecessary interference from the exco on appointments for the coming term, and it was against the ethics and spirit of PR.

“We fear that such interference will cause power overlapping, which will disrupt MAIPP’s administration and appointments made by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” Fauzi said, declining to say if he was referring to Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassin of PKR, who is state religious affairs, domestic trade and consumerism committee chairman.

Penang PAS is also demanding a quota be set for its members to be appointed as directors on the boards of state government-linked companies. Presently no PAS member holds such a position.

The party also wants control over the appointments of Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK) members in the six state and two parliamentary constituencies contested by PAS.

“We were made to understand that appointments had been made directly without consulting us nor getting our consent when the constituencies are PAS seats. That is against the PR ethics. It is most regrettable. Logically, the mandate should be ours.

“We also want the number of Penang and Seberang Prai municipal councillors from PAS to be increased from two to four for each council, and they must be individuals recommended and approved by the party,” he said, adding that the demands are being made following a state party meeting last Thursday chaired by Mohd Salleh.

Fauzi said the demands were not unreasonable because improvements should be made in the PR administration.

“Last term, PR was just learning how to administer the state but now we want to see improvements,” he said.