PETALING JAYA: The ulamaks looks set to continue leading PAS come June 4 when the Islamist party hold its polls and the relationship with AP and PKR remains status quo – either here nor there.
This is despite the liberals’ attempts to unseat them in the past few years but failed where if the group wins, the ties in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is expected to be closer but there are claims that the Islamist party will be playing second fiddle.
Incumbent party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is entrenched in his position as challenger, former vice-president Ahmad Awang, does not seem to be much of a heavy weight, in fact, some veteran members call him a spent force or has been.
Seemingly to be a proxy of the liberals, Ahmad aims to keep the party in the opposition pact of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the objective of the liberals, if he wins.
The liberals have been trying to change the fundamentalists or ulamak leadership of the party with the aim of winning Putrajaya through political co-operation with DAP and PKR under the umbrella of Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
The liberals, many of those who share similar political ideology with jailed PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, do not mind having the Islamist party agenda – setting up an Islamic state and implementing the Hudud Laws – taking a back seat for awhile so long as the opposition can take over Putrajaya.
Failure to control the party when the liberals won nearly two-thirds of the 30 central working committee positions and the deputy president post in the party 2013 poll, they now try the presidency through proxy.
With the incumbent deputy president Mohamad Sabu expected to bite the dust or lose in the June 4 poll, they now put up Ahmad, obviously not to win but a test of their support among grassroots and the 3,000-odd delegates.
Unseating Hadi is no easy task and the thought of losing influence with Mat Sabu losing to an ulamak and also known as a grassroot man who is presently vice-president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, the liberals can only try to strengthen their hold on the three vice-president posts and the central working committees.
With two more weeks to the party poll, the liberals silently admitted Hadi would retain his post as president and Tuan Ibrahim would unseat Mat Sabu as deputy, leaving the three vice-president posts for grabs.
Another incumbent vice-president who is considered as liberal Datuk Husam Musa has announced he would defend his position with Salehuddin Ayub doing the same.
Since Tuan Ibrahim is contesting deputy president post, the grassroots have nominated Nasharuddin Tantawi, the Temerloh MP for the last slot in the vice-presidency.
Nasharuddin is the president’s man and he has all along been defending Hadi from the attacks of DAP leaders who included secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
Another vice-president contender Datuk Iskandar Samad, who is an exco member of Selangor government, is also going in for the vice-president, adding numbers to Hadi’s team – Nasharuddin and him.
Iskandar is known for his loyalty to Hadi particularly during the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis where he stood by then Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Hadi on not wanting PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Ismail to take over as Menteri Besar.
Looking at present mood among grassroots and their anger at DAP, a Chinese-based party which they view as trying to impose rather than share the opposition’s agenda, the Islamist party grassroots still prefer the ulamak leadership than the liberals.
The fundamentalists want PAS presence in PR as one of dignity and of same level to that of its partners DAP and PKR, not just being used to rally people for demonstrations and play second fiddle to the pact’s larger aspirations.
June 4 will see the ulamaks or fundamentalists strengthening their position in the party and the liberals are expected to continue their attempts to gain control of the leadership despite losing the second round.
And as far as PR is concern, PAS under the ulamak leadership will not leave the pact unless the pact pushes the party out.-MYNEWSHUB.CC