PAS gaining confidence — Lim Mun Fah
MAY 24 — PAS has become more and more self-confident and it is not a good thing for Umno.
The confidence came from the adjustment in election strategy, as well as the increase in support, including retired senior government officials joining the party.
It was reported earlier in Malay-language newspapers that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang expressed his willingness to hold talks with Umno, making Umno think that it had an issue to attack Pakatan Rakyat.
Unexpectedly, Hadi clarified later that the party expressed its willingness to talk to non-governmental organisations which had accused the party of deviating from the struggle of Islam, but somehow this was misinterpreted as it agreeing to talk to Umno. It turned out that Umno had asked for a snub.
PAS spiritual leader Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat listed two conditions for talks with Umno, namely Umno must change the national policies into Islamic policies and accept Pakatan Rakyat.
It seems unusual this time as Nik Aziz actually agreed to co-operate with Umno. However, it is impossible to honour the conditions. How would other BN component parties agree to implement Islamic policies? Also, Umno will never accept Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The point of the ploy is, it tells supporters and non-governmental organisations that PAS still adheres to the struggle of Islam and it is Umno which is resisting it.
The election is very close and how could PAS talk to Umno in the current situation? The Bersih 3.0 rally has boosted its momentum and it is expected to win more votes from swing voters.
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu claimed early this month that according to the latest poll conducted by the party in seven states, the party gained five per cent more support from Malay voters compared to the 2008 general election. They did not rule out a surprise in Negri Sembilan and Malacca, while it looks good in Johor, too.
The move by former Federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Fauzi Shaari to join PAS has also confused some civil servants. Retired civil servants who are being given good care by the government do not necessarily support Umno.
Since PAS is so confident, it would not be tangled by the hudud law or the Islamic state issue. Hadi said in Kuala Terengganu on May 1 that once Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, the Federal Constitution would be amended to upgrade the status of Islam from “official religion” to “Addin”. The remarks were criticised by DAP national chairman Karpal Singh. Hadi later clarified that he had never thought about amending the Fededral Constitution and Pakatan Rakyat also reiterated the agreement reached by the three component parties in August last year, that hudud will not be part of the joint policy of Pakatan Rakyat.
No matter whether PAS is sincere in setting aside the idea of religious ruling or it is only meant for strategical needs, its flexibility should be used as a reference for Umno.
The government has its considerations for not approving a Chinese independent school in Kuantan. However, why can’t the policy be adjusted and the decision made in the past be changed?
Umno needs to keep its basic supporters while PAS is having the same concern. It is true that we really cannot have our cake and eat it, too? Loosening policies will leave a greater space and a broader perspective, as well as help in fighting for more swing votes.
The massive rally planned by PAS in Alor Star on June 1 is expected to pressure Umno. With confidence and morale, PAS is the true enemy of Umno. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.