PasMa vs anti-PasMa: The new battle lines in PAS intra-politics


Hazlan Zakaria, The Ant Daily

New battle lines are being drawn in PAS as familiar factions align themselves behind the banner of newfangled intra-party NGO pressure groups, reminiscent of the Umno tactics in using such outsourced movements to ‘baling batu and sembunyi tangan’ as the Malay saying goes, or hide their involvement in the promulgation of racial-tinged issues.

While hiding potential racial incitement is not probably something that any faction in PAS is using this new internal politicking dynamic for, their purpose is to attack rivals via proxy without much risk to the real masterminds.

In a move that can be seen as foil and counter to pressure tactics of intra-PAS pro-Pakatan movement Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa), an unnamed group claiming seemingly oriented to the ulamas has stepped into the ring so to speak, in defence of the position and honour of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali.

The group claimed that a conspiracy has arisen among pro-Pakatan groups to sideline the ulama tradition and leaders linked to the viewpoint.

The group which was represented by a spokesperson from Kuantan Pas Youth who indicated that as what PasMa had claimed, they too represent widespread grassroots members from all over the country. The only difference is their intra-political alignment.

This as a bunch of them held a press conference in front of the Islamist party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 8 to hit out against PasMa and other ‘conspirators’ they claim had sway over more then half of the PAS CWC members and are trying to topple ulama-oriented leaders Hadi and Mustafa.

The group claimed that normal party disciplinary actions may not work against the ‘conspirators’ as their influence is so widespread as they have most of the CWC members in their camp.

Though observers may question their definition of both conspiracy and democracy as a conspiracy would usually involve a small group of people with bad intentions while a group of elected party representatives in the CWC is more of an internal power block within the party which has been empowered by the vote of party members to enact what change they might.

At the press conference, some of the group’s members were seen sporting shirts emblazoned with the GCU letterings, the acronym for Group Cinta Ulama. The press conference was held just as PAS Central Working Committee was assembling to convene a meeting prior to the Pakatan Leadership Council meet scheduled later.

They issued a statement to the waiting press detailing their allegations as well as accusing the DAP of trying to interfere in PAS’ internal politics via helping to fund PasMa.