Posted: 28 Nov 2013 11:16 AM PST
Several themes, some unsettling, had sprung up from the just-concluded PAS annual general assembly. Some of them are going to determine how PAS intends to chart its direction or 'tahaluf siyasi' (political consensus) with its allies in Pakatan.
Khoo Kay Peng, The Ant Daily
It is too early for leaders and supporters of Pakatan Rakyat to feel overly jubilant over the results of PAS' latest party elections. Mohamad Sabu had successfully defended his deputy president position against his challenger, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik, with a 98-vote majority or barely 9 per cent of the total votes.
Mohamad, who is popularly known as Mat Sabu, is seen as a strong supporter of PAS' liaison with both the DAP and PKR. Mat Sabu shares cordial relationships with top leaders of both parties and he is seen as the leader of a pro-Pakatan faction within his party.
To the leaders and supporters of Pakatan, the victory of Mat Sabu is a clear endorsement of PAS' intention to remain in the coalition. However, the fact that it was a straight fight between the "Erdogan" and the ulama candidates showed that the latter is consolidating its forces to keep PAS on the original track of promoting an Islamic state and protecting the Islamic values.
An ulama candidate, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, was elected as a vice-president. Joining him were Datuk Husam Musa, who enjoys a solid support from the party's spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, and Salahudin Ayub.
The line-up shows that the delegates wanted an inclusive team to consider all interests within the party and they are not willing to allow any particular faction to dominate the direction of the party.
The top three winners in the central committee elections were Idris Ahmad with 927 votes, Mazlan Aliman, 840 and Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, 688. The delegates' choices indicated their priority for the party.
Idris is a leader of the ulama faction and Mazlan is the head of Anak, an NGO representing the second and third generations of Felda settlers. Felda settlements are considered to be pro-Umno. Mazlan is seen as an important figure to help PAS spread its influence in these settlements. Meanwhile, Nizar has been touted as a top leader of the 'Erdogan' faction after his short-lived tenure as the menteri besar of Perak in 2008.
Posted: 28 Nov 2013 08:22 AM PST
Zaid Ibrahim, The Malay Mail
It's a common saying from the elderly and the wise: too much of anything is harmful. Now, I think the Malays have too much power and it's gone to their heads.
At the last general election, Utusan Malaysia and Umno actively lambasted the Chinese by casting doubt on their loyalty to the country and asking them to go and live elsewhere.
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