Is Permatang Pauh Hadi’s Waterloo?


Salleh Said Keruak

The talk amongst PAS circles was that Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was not going to win the Permatang Pauh by-election by more than a 5,000-vote majority. This was because the PAS supporters in Permatang Pauh who number about 12,000 outnumber the PKR supporters.

The message that PAS was going to send to PKR and DAP is that since they did not assist PAS in the Rompin by-election then PAS was going to do the same in the Permatang by-election.

The PKR and DAP boycott of Rompin was a show of protest towards the PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang, rather than a protest against PAS. PKR and DAP can no longer work with PAS as long as Hadi is still its President.

This is not only because of the Hudud issue but also because of the Kajang Move and the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis, which Hadi did not support, and which dashed the hopes of Dr Wan Azizah becoming the new Selangor Menteri Besar.

However, the supposedly PAS boycott of Permatang Pauh did not materialise. Most in PAS did not support the boycott and continued to support PKR. That was why Dr Wan Azizah won with a higher majority than expected.

This does not bode well for Hadi. Permatang Pauh showed that not all are behind him. And this would probably be more visible next month during the PAS party elections when it is expected that Hadi will face a challenge for the party leadership.