The â€˜warâ€™ in PAS between moderates and fundamentalists is out in the open now following disagreement between the two factions in the Selangor Menteri Besar saga.
With the party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang naming three candidates instead of the agreed one who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail, the moderates are jumping in anger.
The fundamentalists led by Abdul Hadi had practically â€˜played outâ€™ the moderates who are aligned to PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Selangor Menteri Besar saga which led to the moderates having to answer why.
Abdul Hadi had named two PKR leaders and one of his own man â€“ PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail and deputy Azmin Ali and the third PAS Cempaka assemblyman Iskandar Abdul Samad â€“ to the Sultan of Selangor as nominees to replace outgoing Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
His action had strayed from the consensus of PR council who agreed to name only one who was Wan Azizah as Menteri Besar candidate and this had the moderates â€˜burning with angerâ€™ as they could not fulfill Anwarâ€™s aspiration.
No more hiding behind protocol and decorum, they are now questioning the presidentâ€™s action in the open, deviating from the norm practiced in the Islamist party all along since its formation in 1955.
Party deputy president Mohamed Sabu had openly admitted the party central committee members were sidelined by Abdul Hadi on this matter and PKR continues its banter against Abdul Hadi, subtly wanting answers for his action.
And the disatisfaction of the moderates will not stop as the matter is expected to take centre stage in the upcoming party annual general assembly (AGM) scheduled on Sept 18 to be held in Batu Pahat, Johor.
The AGM will no longer be a tame affair as the moderates are expected to rise against the fundamentalists leadership which widen the internal rift.
Last yearâ€™s party election, the moderates had staged a good show where the faction took over the deputy president, two vice-president and several central committee positions but not enough to control the leadership.
With the current development, the next party election in 2016 may see the rise of moderates and fall of fundamentalists if the veteran leaders do not act fast to stop the march of the faction.
And the development may sour relationship between PAS and the other two parties in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) â€“ DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) â€“ but not to the extend of breaking up, as yet.
PR is breaking down following Abdul Hadiâ€™s action but since all the three parties need each other as they have similar objective, there will be no break-up but the realtionship is considered a volatile.
Party insiders said factionism in PAS had been acknowledged since Anwar was expelled from Umno in 1998 when several of his loyalists joined PAS while others followed him to form PKR.
But they admitted that these so-called moderates were quick to expand their influence and attracted the young party members in their idealism and moderate stand.
â€œWhile our aim is the same which is to topple Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN), our paths are different because we the fundamentalists do not subscribe to the moderatesâ€™ style of the end justify the means.
â€œThis is where we differ and this differences are now undergoing serious test.
â€œHopefully the differences will not separate us from struggling for the same objective,â€ said a veteran leader.MYNEWSHUB/Text: Zainal Epi (Image credit: Antarapos)