KOTA BARU, April 23 — PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s suggestion for the setting up of a combined or unity government with the federal government seems to be scuppering his chances of retaining the post at the PAS assembly in June.
The suggestion was strongly opposed by PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and had caused uneasiness among other PAS leaders and members as it was seen to be in conflict with the party’s principles and the decision made at last year’s PAS assembly in August.
Nik Aziz who was clearly against the idea viewed Hadi as having disregarded the party’s decision.
Hadi’s image was also tarnished after the Pakatan Rakyat Perak government headed by PAS, lost power, with Datuk Seri Muhammad Nizar Jamaluddin also discharged from serving as Mentri Besar.
They lost their majority in the state when two of their assemblymen from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and another from DAP declared that they had become independent assemblymen and were supporting the Barisan Nasional (BN).
Nik Aziz does not want history to be repeated because in 1973, PAS was expelled from the alliance with Umno in Kelantan.
Many PAS leaders and members are worried that they may only be made use of by Umno in its effort to regain the support of the Malays.
There are PAS members who opine that the issues that have emerged will have a bearing on the outcome of the party’s divisional and national-level elections.
They are also worried that Hadi’s suggestion could result in PAS leaders finding a short-cut to high political posts through a combined government with BN.
Following the latest developments, Hadi finally, as reported by Harakah, the party organ, retracted his suggestion on the excuse that many did not understand the objective of setting up of what he called a “unity government”.
Although rumours have it that there are now two teams in the party – “Tok Guru Team” and “President Team” – and Nik Aziz has refuted it, he was nominated by Bukit Bintang PAS to contest the presidency to replace Hadi.
The new Bukit Bintang PAS division head Radhi Hashim said the decision to nominate Nik Aziz was due to his firmness in leading the party compared to Hadi.
The surprise decision, the first in the party, was achieved unanimously by the division’s 12 working committee members who were only appointed at its annual general meeting on Sunday at the Taman Melewar PAS training base, Gombak.
In fact, seven PAS divisions in the Federal Territories did not make any nominations during their respective general meetings for the three main posts, namely president, deputy president and vice-president. – Bernama