PAS leadership is tightening its grip on members as the fundamentalist leadership walks the tightrope trying to balance itself between fundamentalism and liberalism to fit into the opposition pact or Pakatan Rakyat (PR) agenda.
The Islamist party has come under tremendous pressure from DAP to ‘mend’ its ways which is to look beyond its Islamic struggle in order to topple Barisan Nasional (BN) or leave the pact.
PAS fundamentalists leadership, guided by the party Ulamak Council, is not yet ready to forego the party’s main objectives and the ways it has always been which agitates its partners DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) as well as the young moderates in the party.
When the party central committee suspended the membership of Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungip and Morib assemblyman Hasnul Kamaruddin for one year following their act supporting PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail as Selangor Mentri Besar, it shows the fundamentalist leadership means business.
To them Saari and Hasnul had broke ranks by making their own decision when the party’s stand at that time was against Wan Azizah as candidate for Menteri Besar.
The party leadership is not about to allow such ‘indiscipline’ to go scot free given the situation the party is in at present – pressured by the moderates from within and by DAP and PKR from without.
At the same time, the Ulamak Council had also barred party members from joining Persatuan Muafakat Sejahtera Malaysia (Pasma), an NGO set up by the party Kedah deputy commissioner Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi, citing the party itself has what Pasma was offering.
But the fundamentalist leadership led by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has yet to decide which way it wants to go – on its own or follow PR ways.
Whichever way the Islamist party go, it will just remain as its old self in the country’s political landscape without making much impact or feared by BN nor by DAP and PKR.
The fundamentalist leadership or Abdul Hadi himself has been looked upon by the moderates in the party and its partners in PR as ‘orthodox’ that would be an obstacle for the pact to move forward.
Abdul Hadi has been quiet since after the Selangor Menteri Besar Saga ended which created rumours that the fundamentalist leadership is firming actions against deviants in the party and mulling over the party’s position in Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
The one year membership suspension of Saari and Hasnul is one pointer that the party no longer tolerates indiscipline, no matter what the implications would be, knowing the party would lose two state seats in Selangor if both of the assemblymen ‘jump ship.’
The leadership moves – suspending the two assemblymen and barring members from joining Pasma – are seen as damaged control where more moves are expected to curb the moderates from spreading their influence among party members.
Whether Abdul Hadi and the fundamentalists will survive in the ‘political war’ within the party will only be known when at its party election in 2016.MYNEWSHUB