Somber mood at assembly as PAS mulls game-changing outcome


(The Star)  – Tears, angry arguments and threats to resign marked the final day of a drama-filled PAS muktamar that saw the pro-ulama group dominating the party leadership.

An angry delegate from Selangor shouted his way through his speech objecting to the proposal to sever ties with DAP while Mohamad Sabu, who lost in the deputy president contest, shocked everyone when he said he intended to resign from all his posts in Penang.

The Selangor delegate Norhalim Sirome blasted the party leaders for trying to push through the motion to cut ties with DAP without a proper debate, saying that divorce is easy but the party must think of what happens after that.

The tears came from Hanipa Maidin, whose tough guy style had rubbed many the wrong way. He started sobbing midway through his winding-up speech, prompting new Youth chief Nik Abduh Nik Aziz to give him tissues. But the tears could not stop and he could not finish his speech.

Also seen wiping away his tears was Selangor delegate Sallehin Mukhyi when speaking on the intense campaigning prior to the party polls.

The sweep by the ulama sent a clear message to its Pakatan Rakyat allies, especially DAP, that the party is not backing off on its hudud agenda.

Signs of the “ulama tsunami” began even before the main assembly on Thursday in Kuala Selangor.

On Wednesday, the late Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s son Nik Abduh and his team made a perfect sweep of the Youth wing leadership, leaving the professionals group with zero posts.

The wave continued at the Dewan Muslimat polls when Nuridah Salleh defeated Siti Zailah Mohamad Yusof, a well-known MP from Rantau Panjang.

At the Dewan Ulama polls, its acting chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mo­­hamed officially took over leadership of the powerful religious arm of the party.

Party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang took almost 80% of the votes to defeat challenger Ahmad Awang, while his running mate Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man wrested the deputy president post from Mat Sabu.

Mat Sabu said he was stumped as he did not expect to lose by such a big majority. He only received 279 votes to Tuan Ibrahim’s 881.

All three incumbent vice-presidents Salahuddin Ayub, Mahfuz Omar and Datuk Husam Musa were also rejected by the delegates in favour of candidates from the ulama group – Idris Ahmad, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah and Iskandar Samad.

Of the 18 elected central committee seats, only one candidate, Mazlan Aliman, who is not seen as belonging to the ulama group, survived. He is now talking about resigning from the post, claiming that internal politics had brought down all his friends from the progressive and professional group.

Some delegates also called on the party to take action against leaders whom they claimed had conspired with DAP in its attack against Hadi.