Of Asri and Hadi

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Was Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang merely exercising his “presidential” right when making decisions seen as “detrimental” to Pakatan Rakyat? Like those he made during the Selangor menteri besar issue – to cite one of several examples.

Mohsin Abdullah, TMI

Does Hadi, the PAS president, have wide ranging authority to act on his own? Without having to consult others in his party? And does he have veto power?

Of late, Hadi has been accused even within PAS of being “hard headed” and refusing to “listen to advice” or simply “dictatorial” (bear in mind that Hadi is not without his band of PAS supporters).

But before that, let’s take a quick look at one of the party’s former president – the late Tan Sri Asri Muda.

Asri was president from 1969 to 1982. Under his leadership “Islamic” PAS changed its outlook towards Malay nationalism. And it was Asri who held talks with the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was then leading the ruling Alliance (Perikatan) coalition, to enable the opposition PAS to become a component of Barisan Nasional in 1974.

But as a BN component, PAS fared badly in the 1978 general election and Asri was heavily criticised by members. Problems also cropped up in Kelantan which eventually saw PAS leaving BN.

PAS maintains until this day that they were “played out” by Umno and “kicked out” of the Federal ruling coalition.

Spurred by the Islamic revolution in Iran, ulamaks emerged as a force in PAS and it was no surprise that it was the ulamak group that ousted Asri in 1982. And in came the “kepimpinan ulamak” concept.

Asri formed a new political party Hamim without much success and, eventually, in 1988 he joined Umno. He remained an Umno member until he passed away in 1992.

Needless to say Asri, or for that matter anything Asri, was barely talked about in PAS. He was left to be forgotten. Those who did speak had nothing nice to say.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/mohsin-abdullah/article/of-asri-and-hadi