PAS to break apart by June congress?

Zuhdi Marsuki

Party research chief predicts pro-Anwar anti-Hadi group will form new party

(Free Malaysia Today) – PAS may break apart by the time of the party congress in June, according to the head of the party’s research centre.

Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marsuki said the rise of factions within the party since 1998 which were incompatible with the leadership of the ulama would result in the departure of those opposed to party president Abdul Hadi Awang and the formation of a new political party.

Dr Mohd Zuhdi, who heads the PAS Research Centre, believed it would be the best solution to the party’s current internal crisis.

He also saw little hope in further strengthening the party’s ties with the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, its partners in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Mohd Zuhdi traced the rise of factions within the party to the opening up of the party and the influx of new members since 1998 (after Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from the Mahathir Mohamad government) as the cause of the current internal turmoil.

PAS was then under the leadership of ustaz Fadzil Noor, who had opened up the party to Muslim technocrats, urban professionals and intellectuals.

Fadzil’s move to broaden the party’s focus to social and economic issues, willingness to link up with other opposition parties, and lessening the hardline Islamism of the past, attracted a new class of members and an influx in the years of the Reformasi movement after Anwar’s sacking.