KOTA BARU: The â€˜cat is out of the bagâ€™ in PAS political intrique where the ulamaks and liberals â€“ the two warring factions â€“ try to outdo each other in the upcoming party poll in June.
The Kota Baru division had â€˜let looseâ€™ the trick by nominating party vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man to challenge incumbent president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, citing the latter would not not defend his post.
Responding immediately, Tuan Ibrahim turned down the nomination saying Hadiâ€™s leadership and wisdom was still needed to steer the party to its destination.
It is a political maneuvering, where the liberals wanted Hadi out and replace with the factionâ€™s own man seems very remote given the ulamak factionâ€™s influence is still rooted deep among the veterans and many young intellectual members who see Islam as the partyâ€™s objective.
Given such situation, the liberals had then nominated Hadiâ€™s ally Tuan Ibrahim, the man acceptable by the ulamak faction for his wisdom but Tuan Ibrahim saw the game plan.
He quickly â€˜poured water to the flameâ€™, distinguishing the growing fire of the liberals to unseat Hadi, which now left the liberals to change its plan, if the factionâ€™s â€˜think-tankâ€™ knows the ground well â€“ the grassroots sentiment.
Allegations of violence purportedly by supporters of ulamaks through incidents such as burning of party central working committee member Dr Hatta Ramliâ€™s car and the attack on party strategy director Dr Zulkifli Ahmad did not change the equation.
Party members, long been loyal to the ulamak faction did not buy the story nor influenced by the photos featured in the party organ Harakah.
Grassroots who are comfortable and used to the ulamak leadership since the past decades have all along trust the party leadership style of distancing the party members from any violent act as well as â€˜cleaning dirty linen in public.â€™
Painting a picture of violence purportedly and subtly blaming the ulamak faction is not a good enough strategy to erode the confidence and influence of grassroots towards the partyâ€™s ulamak leadership particularly against Hadi.
With Tuan Ibrahimâ€™s rejection of nomination that could pit him against Hadi and break the ulamak faction into two thus weakening its strength, the liberals are now put in the defensive.
Words have gone round that several divisions, which annual general meetings (AGMs) are scheduled for the next weekend right up to end of April, will be nominating Tuan Ibrahim for deputy president post, challenging incumbent Mohamed Sabu or popularly known as Mat Sabu.
Mat Sabu has been seen as subservient to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim which did not go down well with the grassroots and leaders aligned to the ulamaks.
Grassroots members see clearly the bigger picture of the â€˜silent enmityâ€™ between the two factions â€“ liberals who want to steer the party towards closer relationship with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners and play second fiddle to DAP against the ulamaks who stick to the partyâ€™s objectives for an Islamic state and implementation of Hudud Laws with or without DAP and PKR.
The lines are clearly drawn and this month and next month will see the liberals and ulamaks influencing divisions to nominate their respective men.
If Tuan Ibrahim challenges Mat Sabu which nomination is expected to come from divisions in Kelantan and Terengganu, then the â€˜warâ€™ may see a bitter ending in June.-MYNEWSHUB.CC