Future of PAS without Tok Guru – Muhammad Nazreen


(The Malaysian Insider) – Renowned political expert Dr Farish Noor had anticipated the passing of PAS spiritual leader, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, also known as Tok Guru may well end the alliance of Pakatan Rakyat.

“Of late there has been much speculation about whether the opposition alliance can remain together up to the next election. Nik Aziz’s death may also spell the end of that coalition as well,” said Farish in his tribute essay after the sudden passing of Tok Guru.

One might wonder whether the coalition pact could withstand without two of its towering figures, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is facing imprisonment for five years and Nik Aziz, who died after suffering prostate cancer.

However, Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) remains intact with its Pakatan Rakyat counterparts. PAS reiterated its commitment to be part of Pakatan Rakyat, after the Pakatan Rakyat presidential council took its place on February 8, 2015.

Several attempts were made to challenge the viability of Pakatan Rakyat. The implementation of hudud law remains the point of contention that determines the future of the PR partnership. Some quarters within PAS have been really adamant for its Islamic agenda. The recent spat over local election council indicates a racial sentiment against DAP.

The idea of “unity government” between PAS and Umno may demonstrate the internal bickering of PAS.

However, some PAS progressive leaders unequivocally reaffirm their commitment with Pakatan Rakyat.

“It is said that Tok Guru was the one who stalled the talks of unity government. It was Tok Guru who saved Pakatan Rakyat in 2008,” said Liew Chin Tong, a young parliamentarian from DAP.

The infighting between the conservatives and progressives within PAS will realign the future of PAS politics. Who wins in the upcoming June election takes the command of PAS leadership. Many would suggest both factions, conservatives and progressives represent either community of ulamas or professional that make up the bickering of PAS.

But it is not the case. According to Ibrahim Suffian who leads a survey-based think tank, Merdeka Center, the battle within PAS is actually a test against mindset.

It could be some ulamas leading the “reformist” progressives, while at the same time, some professionals are linking themselves to the conservative faction.