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Mat Sabu keeps PAS deputy hat, but clerics gain on Erdogans

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 11:22 PM PST

(MM) - Incumbent PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu beat challenger Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah to keep his seat in party polls today, but the Islamists party's conservative clerics, better known as the ulama faction, gained more muscle within its central leadership.

The Penang-born popularly known as Mat Sabu won by a slim 98-vote margin, scoring 588 out of 1,086 votes against Mohd Amar's 490 votes. "When the result was announced just now, I did not celebrate because it was just a friendly fight."

We're not like in our rival party, where you have to spend RM1 million to win the post," Mat Sabu told a press conference after the results were announced. 

He did not name the rival party.

"It was just a common fight, we are still under one party and one congregation," he added.

The former activist also explained that the slim majority meant nothing to him, conceding that he would not have been perturbed even if it was in the single digit.

More candidates seen to be aligned to PAS's influential ulama faction — who make up the opposition party's soul — were also voted into the party's central working committee, including the entry of the Youth wing's two former top leaders, Nasruddin Hassan and Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz.

Their numbers now match the candidates seen as representing PAS' progressives, nicknamed the Erdogans, after three-term Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, popularly known for his economic reforms.
The results for vice-president posts are however still undergoing a recount, signalling a close battle between the three incumbents and their two challengers.

PAS Central Election Committee chairman Asmuni Awi revealed that the results were too close to call, with all five candidates in a neck-to-neck fight.

He also explained that the recount will be finished by tonight, but the results will only be announced tomorrow morning.


PAS passes resolution to review political cooperation with DAP, PKR

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 11:22 PM PST

(The Star) - PAS has appeared to heed the calls from party conservatives as it passed a resolution to review the tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) with its partners PKR and DAP.

The resolution, which was proposed by the Dewan Ulama, was approved without debate.

However, they acknowledged the success of the political cooperation, which was the reason they retained Kelantan, Penang and Selangor.

The Dewan Ulama said that the proposal would be forwarded to the highest policy decision-making body, namely Majlis Syura Ulama and PAS committee, to review and revise the cooperation.

"It also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses, success and failure of the tahaluf siyasi since it was first established, and weigh its pros and cons in order to improve and strengthen Pakatan Rakyat ahead of the next general election," they said.

Kuala Kangsar PAS division had also called for similar resolution so that the party could strengthen the political cooperation with allies.

"We realise that PAS is known as a party that is supported by ulama and Muslim leaders.

"PAS is also known to be a party that fights on a platform that holds strongly on Islamic principles," they said.

Therefore, they said that PAS should take a firm stand on matters that touch on its principles and party policies.

Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib had previously called for the review of the party's political cooperation with allies PKR and DAP in the wake of the party's dwindling support in the May 5 general election.

He said this was because PAS was no longer dominant in Pakatan Rakyat and its position in the alliance was "weaker than ever" for being "too accomodating" to its allies in order to garner support from non-Malays.

There were also talks that PAS leadership wasn't firm enough with its stand on the usage of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims and the implementation of hudud law.

Other resolutions passed without debate were to streamline Pakatan Rakyat policies in the three states.

The resolution, which was proposed by the Dewan Ulama, said that it was time that the coalition standardised the administration policies to show that the three parties were united in governing the states.

Meanwhile, PAS also passed a resolution by PAS Teluk Intan division to ensure that the party remained free from Syiah teachings and urged the party to remain vigilant.


Mat Sabu returns as PAS deputy chief

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 11:18 PM PST

Alyaa Azhar, K Pragalath & Jamilah Kamarudin, FMT 

Incumbent PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu retains his post after a tough electoral battle, winning with a wafer thin majority of 98 votes.

Mohamad Sabu, or more known as Mat Sabu, garnered 588 votes while his contender, Kelantan deputy Menteri Besar, Mohamad Amar Nik Abdullah received 490 votes.

PAS election committee chairman Asmuni Awi made the announcement at 7.10pm, after counting votes from 1,086 delegates.  There were eight spoilt votes.

There were some technical glitches yesterday, prompting the election committee to continue the voting process today.

When met later at a press conference, Mat Sabu said that he was not in a celebrative mood.

"There is nothing to celebrate because it is a contest among brothers.  They are not like our rival Umno that have to spend millions to win a vice president's post," he said.

On his next course of action, Mat Sabu promised to work hard with the new leadership team, adding, "We hope this team will be more successful to take over Putrajaya.

On the slim majority win, Mat Sabu said "One or two vote majority does not matter because it is still a win," he said.

The election results for three vice presidents post would be announced tomorrow.

Mat Sabu's win comes amid calls from certain quarters within the party for him to be replaced as he is claimed not effective in uniting Malay-Muslims within the party.

However, the tide against the non-ulama changed after party president Abdul Hadi Awang announced a few weeks ago that non-ulama could lead the party, citing example of the PAS' second president, Alias Abas who was not an ulama.

Mat Sabu contested for the Pendang parliament seat in the 13th general election but was defeated by Umno's Othman Abdul.

The new central working committee line-up are:

Idris Ahmad (927 votes)

Mazlan Aliman (840 votes)

Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin (688 votes)

Amiruddin Hamzah (679 votes)

Mohd Hatta Md Ramli (649 votes)

Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi (645 votes)

Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abd Aziz (627 votes)

Mujahid Yusof Rawa (626 votes)

Dzulkefly Ahmad (610 votes)

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (604 votes)

Kamarudin Jaffar  (562 votes)

Khalid Samad (547 votes)

Nik Zawawi Salleh (518 votes)

Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi (476 votes)

Riduan Mohd Nor (469 votes)

Mahfodz Mohamed (455 votes)

Siti Mariah Mahmud (437 votes)

Nuridah Salleh (424 votes)


Guan Eng is ‘incompetent’, says ex-Dap branch leader

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 06:22 PM PST

(NST) - DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was described as 'incompetent' by a former party branch leader for submitting a mere 'three-page' report to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) in the recent party election.

Former Jalan Bagan Luar chairman G. Asoghan said Lim had caused an embarrassment to the DAP by giving such sketchy report over the Sept 29 special congress and Central Executive Committee (CEC) re-election in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

"He is unfit to be a secretary-general. A three-page report sent to he RoS is too short and it did not do any good to our party's tarnished image.

"He's clearly hiding something in the CEC elections,"he told reporters here today.

The party's CEC elections last December were marred with a tabulation "glitch", with complaints by party members, claiming that there were irregularities.

The glitch caused party activist Vincent Wu to be moved to the 26th spot from his original sixth position, giving way to Lim's political secretary Zairil Abdullah, who was originally in the 39th position, to move up to the 20th spot in the CEC elections at the party's national congress in Penang on Dec 15 last year.

The RoS had then sent a letter to the DAP saying that it did not recognise the top leadership, which in return led to the party to hold a CEC elections to avoid risk of de-registration. 


Delegate: PAS needs to go back to basics, regain support of rural Malays

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 06:10 PM PST

Azril Annuar,

PAS needs to get back to basics and the root of its support which built the party prior to its membership in Pakatan Rakyat – the rural Malay votes, a delegate said at the party's annual muktamar here today.

Perak delegate Dr Mohd Nuri Al Amin pointed out to the party leadership that the May 5 general election saw PAS losing 5% of the Malay votes in the state despite the tremendous gain of non-Muslim votes.

"We saw the voting trend in Perak during the elections. PAS made a 20% gain in non-Muslim votes which is a reflection of the strength of PAS' partnership with its Pakatan Rakyat partners DAP and PKR. We have gained the trust of the non-Muslims.

"But we have to accept the fact that in Perak, we lost 5% of the Malay votes. This is a fact. What does it mean? It means, that no matter how strong we have become because of our partnership with Pakatan Rakyat, we must never forget our voting base.

"We must accept the fact that we have not been able to dispel Umno's hold over the Malay votes. We must go back to our base and our roots," said Mohd Nuri.

He pointed out that lately, PAS has not really been discussing Islamic issues, which are close to the hearts and mind of the rural Malay heartland.

"We are so busy with other party's issues that we forgot to fight for our own issues. We need a better strategy to win our voting base. We should not just champion issues brought up by our partners but we must also champion our own issues, based on what our voters, the rural Malay needs based on the norms of their everyday life.

"The issues brought up by PKR are based on their strategy to win over the urban voters. Our voters have different needs, different issues facing them. Corruption issues are what the urban voters want to hear but it means nothing to our voter base, who are the rural Malays.

"Perak would like to suggest to the PAS Central Committee to segment the PAS election engine, with one to address national issues brought up by our partners and another to address the need of our voting base," said Mohd Nuri.


Choice of Pakatan leader a collective decision, not PAS', says Hadi Awang

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 05:58 PM PST

(The Star) - PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said that it is not up to the party alone to decide who should lead the opposition pact, but a collective decision.

Speaking at a press conference here, Hadi said that such decision should be made by the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council on who should be the 'chairman' and to lead the alliance.

"We have a right (to lead) but not a right to appoint ourselves. This matter should be discussed with other Pakatan Rakyat leaders," he said.

Hadi was commenting on a delegate from Johor, who earlier questioned who would be the right person to lead the coalition.

Firdaus Mohd Noor, said that PAS should make an official stand on the potential Prime Mnister in-waiting, should Pakatan Rakyat wrest take Putrajaya in the next general election.

Hadi also denied allegations that there were party leaders that were "power crazy", which affected their ability to focus on a specific task given, and eventually, the party.

He said PAS had never asked for any position, but the request came from the grassroots who wanted a particular leader to hold a position.

"We tend to face problems when the members suggest a leader to hold many positions at one time," he said, referring to PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

"Take Nik Aziz for example. There have been demands from the people in Kelantan and the Syura Ulama council who wanted him to continue as Mentri Besar and PAS state commissioner.

"We know that he is ailing, but because of such demands, he was forced to continue as Mentri Besar.

"But we lessened his burden and to allow him to continue as a spiritual leader," he said.

Earlier, Firdaus had blamed the downfall of Terengganu in the 2008 general election to overlapping tasks held by Hadi, who was then the state Mentri Besar, the party president and also state commissioner.


Fridays, Saturdays are new weekends in Johor from Jan: Sultan

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 05:45 PM PST 

(NST) - The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar announced that Johor's new weekends will be officially changed to Fridays and Saturdays.

The changes with take effect from January 1, 2014.

Johor's official weekends were on Friday and Saturday, 15-years ago.

Addressing his subjects at the Jubli Intan Sultan Ibrahim hall, where his 55th birthday celebration are held, Sultan Ibrahim said the changes was to allow Muslims to attends their prayers, without rushing for time.


Mohd Salleh backstabbing us – Penang PAS grassroot

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 03:32 PM PST

(The Malaysian Times) - Interference from the DAP and PKR in the administration of Islamic religious affairs in the state has been described as a slap in the face of PAS grassroots members.

PAS activist Mohamed Hafiz Mohamed Nordin said the action by the PAS commissioner was strange and contradictory and could be likened to stabbing the PAS members in the back as they had made their stand for the sake of the party's integrity and future wellbeing.

"What was the intention of Mohd Salleh in issuing a contradictory statement?

The matter raised by PAS deputy commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff at a press conference was the voice of the PAS grassroots at the state PAS liaison meeting on Nov 14.

"Why is he defending them (DAP and PKR) and is it because he wants to be a member of the party?

"To me, the denial shows that he lacks integrity," he said at a news conference, here yesterday.


Is DAP treating PAS as enemy, asks delegate

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 03:18 PM PST

(The Star) - A Penang delegate on Saturday has claimed that DAP-led state government has given them the cold shoulder amid the ongoing crisis between the two parties in the state.

Mohd Nor Haron, in debating the president policy speech at PAS' 59th Muktamar here, said that the state government's decision to appoint more representatives from NGO as local councilors was an attempt to "bury" their presence.

"Although we only won one seat in Penang, they shouldn't think we are not as equally important.

"Is it fair for them to appoint four representatives from NGO and appointed only two representatives from PAS? Are they trying to bury us?" he asked, stressing that PAS has a say in some state portfolios. 

He said that the state government has not responded to any of their formal complaints lodged on the matter, but PAS was asked for their views in their manifesto ahead of general election.

"Is this double standard against Penang PAS? As soon as we won the state, PAS was sidelined. Are they saying that we are an enemy to them? They have to remember this is not Barisan Nasional," said Mohd Nor.

He also said that the DAP-led state government, which champions the tagline 'Competency, Accountability, Transparency' or in short CAT should walk the talk.

"Please be a loving cat, not a fierce cat," he said, insisting that the Islamist party should not be a mere 'passenger' in the alliance.

DAP-led Penang was recently accused by its PAS counterparts of "unreasonably interfering" in the Islamic affairs and in the appointments to state agencies and village development and security committees.

This subsequently led to an ultimatum issued by Penang PAS commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff, saying that they would pull out their representatives from the state and municipal council posts.

PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang said they would meet with the party's partners in Penang as soon as possible and said that the matter would be discussed 'closed-door'.


Penang PAS: Don’t treat us as a pillion rider

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:41 PM PST

PAS was only consulted during general election and are left out at other times, Penang PAS secretary Mohd Nor Haron.

K Pragalath, FMT

Penang PAS secretary Mohd Nor Haron said the state government should not treat the party as a pillion rider and give more say in the administration of the island.

Bagan division chief Mohd Nor Haron said PAS relations within the Pakatan framework began in 2008 and must be open to differing views and stand.

"I hope CAT (competency, accountability, transparency) is not a cat that scratches us. Be a loving cat. To keep leading, you have to keep learning," he said.

Mohd Nor said this when debating the president's speech at the 59th PAS muktamar in Stadium Melawati today.

Several days ago, Penang PAS deputy commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff said the party wanted more space within Pakatan to speak out and decide on party appointments in the Penang Islamic Religious Council (Maipp), local government and village development and security councils.

He warned the state government and Pakatan state council not to interfere in the administration of the Maipp headed by the state commissioner and Permatang Pauh assemblyman Mohd Salleh Man.

Mohd Nor said the Penang state administration should give more priority to PAS.

"We join hands during election campaigns and then during the administration you treat us like a pillion rider. Don't treat us as an enemy when it is Umno who is the enemy.

"How can you appoint four NGO representatives and only two PAS representatives in the councils? Would this appointments help PAS?" he asked.



DAP: Janice cannot contest in state polls

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:34 PM PST

Former Teratai assemblyman Janice Lee will not be able to contest in the state DAP polls because her appeal has been rejected, says national organising secretary Anthony Loke.

Priscilla Prasena, FMT

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said today Janice Lee would not be able to contest in the upcoming party elections in Selangor because the former Teratai assemblyman has been sacked by the party.

"Although she has appealed to contest, the party has rejected her application," Loke told FMT.

Lee had said that she would still take part the state elections in December's because she was appealing against her sacking.

She had also said she remained a DAP member and was entitled to take part in the state polls while waiting for the central executive committee to hear her appeal.

Lee was dropped as a DAP candidate in the last general election after the party's disciplinary committee (DC) found her guilty of misappropriating state and residents' funds in Sungai Pelek and Teratai respectively.

She went on to stand as an independent candidate in the general election and lost.

Lee had said her dismissal was an act of double standard by the CEC because other DAP leaders who had committed similar deeds were spared from punishment.

Loke, however, dismissed it by saying that she had a lot of allegations against her and this led to the party sacking her.

"I really don't know what is she talking about," he said.


PAS election error: Polls committee nearly quit

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 02:23 PM PST

However, PAS election committee chairman Asmuni Awi says that his team rescinded on their decision at the behest of the party leadership

Alyaa Azhar, FMT

The election committee overseeing the PAS central committee election almost resigned from their posts following a technical bungle affecting the ballot papers yesterday.

However, party leadership stepped in and urged the committee members to stay put.

Speaking on the matter, PAS election committee chairman Asmuni Awi expressed his regret on the irregularity.

"As soon as we realised the technical error, all of us wanted to resign. However, we were entrusted by the party leadership to continue with our duty.

"We (the committee) then agreed unanimously that the voting process must therefore be continued," he said.

Yesterday, what was supposed to be a voting process for the deputy president, vice presidents and central working committee members was marred after mistakes were found in the ballot papers.

It eventually resulted in the election taking place for the deputy president and vice president posts. Election for the 18 posts in the PAS central committee had to be held today.

Asmuni also took the opportunity today to apologise on behalf of the committee.

"Justice must be done and must be seen to be done. We will ensure the same mistake will not be repeated," he said.

Commenting on the matter, PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali said the resignation was unnecessary after the committee admitted to their mistake and was ready to tender their resignation.

"These kind of mistakes happen to everyone. On that basis, on behalf of the leadership, we accept their apology," said Mustafa.

PAS permanent chairman Abu Kassim Abdullah said what was most important is that the process has been successfully completed.

The voting process for the PAS central working committee members were completed at 11 am earlier.



New Gerakan chief determined to revive party's fortunes

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:34 AM PST

(The Star) - Clad in his white Gerakan party uniform, the recently elected party president Mah siew Keong 52, greets the Star online with a smile at his office at the party headquarters.

Mah certainly has his work cut from him. "I joined the party 20 years ago, when it was still growing at the grassroots level. I was then asked to contest for the Teluk Intan state seat, a seat that was never won by Barisan Nasional and my luck was such that I did."

Mah, who is fact a native of Teluk Intan, acknowledges that the party's fortunes at its lowest since its formation in the late 1960s.

"Since I have taken on the party presidency, I have received multiple remarks on the net and the media on how Gerakan as a party has become irrelevant, and it is sad considering the fact that just six years ago, we had one Minister, three deputy ministers, a chief minister, 10 MP's and 30 state assemblymen.

"At present we only have one parliamentary seat and three state seats, and I understand that the party is weak and it is about time we re-strategise," he said.

Mah himself served as Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Trade and  Industry as well as the Ministry of Agriculture.

The father of three explained that the key for him is to continue working hard and serving the people even when the party does do well in the election.

"I am aware that the organisation as a whole is not strong, and we are looking to recruit more members of the Gen Y. This is important because Gen Y has become more and more relevant and in many ways influence the decisions of the Gen X. Therefore, I am currently targeting that at least 70 to 80 percent of candidates are in their thirties and fourties in upcoming elections as compared to the 50 percent in the precious election" he added.

He said that the party  had failed to engage the people well and will work towards strengthening their approach through the internet.

"One of the many things we can be proud about is the fact that none of our leaders were corrupted. Not one Gerakan leader was ever involved in a corruption scandal and not once were they ever accused of corruption. These are one of the many assets of the party we are looking to build on," he said.

Mah said that he would give attention to is driving the party to becoming a more multi-racial party than it currently is. Gerakan initially started off as a genuinely multi-racial party but once leaders like the late V. David and Syed Hussein Alatas left the party, it was dominated by Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu and Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik, becoming overwhelmingly Chinese in the process.


One week to retract or we meet in court, Marina tells ISMA

Posted: 22 Nov 2013 09:28 AM PST

(MM) - Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir has issued a legal ultimatum to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), promising to haul the Muslim activist group to court unless it retracts allegedly false and "defamatory" claims against her by next week.

The Malay Mail Online understands that Marina had through her lawyers recently sent out a letter of demand to ISMA and its office-bearers over the group's statements that had purportedly cast serious doubts on her "integrity and honesty".

The letter claims that ISMA's allegedly groundless statements were intended to smear the reputation of Marina, a prominent activist who is also the eldest daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In the letter of demand (LoD) sighted by The Malay Mail Online, Marina's lawyers listed four demands that ISMA must fulfill, including a confirmation on whether the group stands by its allegations.

One of the demands states that ISMA must give a satisfactory explanation of the reason and the grounds for the group's attempt to link Marina to local human rights coalition Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process (Comango)'s campaign.

ISMA is also required to fully retract its defamatory claims and publish an apology based on Marina's terms in its own website and Facebook page, on news portals The Malay Mail Online and The Malaysian Insider, as well as in two Malay dailies, Sinar Harian and Utusan Malaysia.

ISMA must also give Marina a written assurance and undertake to refrain from further publishing the defamatory statements or make similar statements against her, the letter said.

According to the LoD dated November 19, ISMA must fulfil these demands within seven days from the letter's date or face a court case.

Earlier, the letter traced ISMA's allegedly defamatory statements, where the group was said to have distributed 70,000 leaflets that had featured Marina's photograph and named her as a purported "dalang" or mastermind of Comango, which ISMA had claimed was composed of 54 "anti-Islam" non-governmental organisations (NGOs).



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