Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) gets a credibility boost today when two PAS strongmen – Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib and Tumpat MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar – joined the party.
Rejected by PAS at its poll in June, the two had snub Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) and opted for a more reliable party with credible leadership PKR rather than joining GHB whose leaders are still seeking direction in their political adventure.
For PKR, the event is a booster as the party leaders walk the tightrope between DAP and GHB given the two parties have totally cut ties with PAS, a party which PKR still accepts with open arms in the new Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact.
In Muhammad, the party can tab his experience in running Selangor as he was the Mentri Besar for nearly two decades and in Kamaruddin Jaafar, the party can hope to add credibility to the leadership in Islamic guidance.
Kamaruddin is known for his Islamic knowledge as he was one of the leaders of Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim) when PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar was its president.
In fact, he is an Anwar loyalist who joined PAS while others joined PKR after the reformasi era following Anwar’s expulsion from Umno.
With the two credible people in PKR, it is expected many PAS followers who are liberals and had left the party would follow their footsteps.
This would put GHB chief Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu in a dilemma as he had pledged to replace PAS in the loose opposition pact but had already failed the pact when he could deliver the Malay supporters to join Bersih 4 rally at a day before Merdeka.
Trying to keep afloat until the next general election, Mat Sabu and gang continue to debate the bai’ah oath which they had signed when they contested in the 2013 general election under PAS ticket
PAS party leaders have begun calling these rejects to quit their parliament and state seats since they had resigned from being members of the party but none of them have intentions of doing so.
Despite their publicities depicting as though they have followers, they have not make any statement regarding their seats, may it be parliament or states, as they divert the subject to the oath and other subject matters such as Hudud and the Islamic state.
The MPs who had joined former party deputy president Mohamad Sabu are Kuala Terengganu MP Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Raja Ahmad, Parit Buntar MP in Penang Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, Kota Raja MP Siti Mariah Mahmud and Sepang MP Mohd Hanifa Maidin, Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baharuddin and Hulu Klang assemblyman Saari Sungip (all in Selangor), Kuala Kerai MP in Kelantan Dr Mohd Hatta Md Ramli.
They knew their position that their victories in the 2013 general election was due to PAS grassroot support and DAP support and quitting their seats for by-elections would mean the death of their political careers.
They do not have grassroots support if they stand on their own which is unlike Kamaruddin who are well liked and popular in Tumpat, Kelantan.
This is also the reason why PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail and deputy president who is also Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali insisted that PAS is still in the newly minted opposition pact despite disagreement from DAP.
Both the leaders and others know former PAS leaders in GBH have no grassroots support and their positions as MPs and assemblymen would vanish come the next general election or any by-elections held anytime now.
After all, PAS grassroots support leaders who stand by the Islamic tenets and those who deviate from the tenets as well as the party objectives are considered as hypocrites.