I am surprised by the attacks on the DAP launched by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang since the run-up to the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar parliamentary by-elections, as if Hadi’s political caliber and leadership have to be judged by the intensity of his attacks on the DAP, regardless of their truth or falsity.
PAS led by Hadi is more and more like UMNO, sometimes even out-UMNO UMNO, and I can hardly recognize the “open-minded” PAS of Tok Guru Datuk Seri Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who was Kelantan Mentri Besar for 23 years or the PAS of the previous PAS Presidents Fadzil Nor and Yusuf Rawa for some two decades before Hadi’s presidency.
Hadi had talked about being the adviser to UMNO and Najib, but sometimes I wonder whether it is Najib who is actually advising Hadi!
Recently, there had been a few instances of PAS under Hadi which is more and more like UMNO, sometimes even out-UMNO UMNO.
PAS had accused UMNO of communalism in advocating “ketuanan Melayu” but it has now followed the UMNO footsteps as illustrated by the PAS adoption of Malay warrior garb and other traditional Malay attire and customs at the recent PAS Muktamar – which even caused an UMNO Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to observe sardonically that UMNO’s formula had proved to be so successful that PAS was mimicking them.
But this was not the extent of PAS mimicry of UMNO – when Hadi wielded a long keris at the PAS Muktamar, longer than the short keris that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had wielded three times at the UMNO Youth General Assembly when he was UMNO Youth Leader, with such awful consequences for plural Malaysia!
Even former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir was moved to chide PAS for trying to be more nationalist than UMNO – as if the longer the keris, the more nationalist the party, using the length of the keris to measure nationalism!
With these developments, one should probably not be surprised that the Hadi-led PAS abandoned the “PAS for All” objective and slogan and caused the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat when Hadi refused to honour the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework and failed to be a Pakatan Rakyat ‘team player’, unilaterally exercising a non-existent veto to block Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council decisions although other PAS leaders agreed to these decisions in Hadi’s absence.
When PAS was in Pakatan Rakyat for seven years from 2008 to 2015, Hadi and other PAS leaders were accused of being DAP pawns and stooges. Now, Hadi and his lieutenants are using the UMNO tactics to accuse AMANAH leaders as pawns and stooges of DAP.
Is Hadi suggesting that UMNO was right when he was accused of being DAP pawn and stooge before PR’s disintegration?
Hadi sometimes tried to out-UMNO UMNO.
This was when Hadi asserted that “pemimpin Malaysia wajib Islam, Melayu” which is against the fundamental principle of the Constitution which allows any Malaysian regardless of race or religion even to be a Prime Minister.
The political reality that a Malay would be the Prime Minister of Malaysia in view of the political demography in the country is separate and different from calling for a constitutional bar to prevent a non-Malay from becoming a Prime Minister.
This is one example where Hadi tries to out-UMNO UMNO.
The time has come for new politics in Malaysia where Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or political party, unite as one to “Save Malaysia” from widespread corruption and injustices in the country.
MCA claimed to have more than a million members, but in the 13th General Election three years ago, some 70 per cent of the million MCA card-carrying members voted against the MCA and Barisan Nasional candidates, supporting the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) candidates in support of PR call for political change in Putrajaya.
MIC claimed to have 750,000 members but in the 13GE, some 75 per cent of MIC’s three-quarter of a million members voted against MIC and BN candidates in support of PR candidates!
If in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections on June 18, PAS and UMNO members can rise above petty party politics to “Save Malaysia” and refuse to fall into the Najib-Hadi trap to use Hadi’s hudud bill to distract attention from Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega scandals, voting for the respective AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan candidates, then the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections will see the beginning of a new politics in Malaysia, where national interests are given higher priority than political party interests, whether UMNO, PAS or Najib-Hadi political conspiracy.
(Speech at the Pakatan Harapan Kuala Kangsar by-election kopitiam ceramah in Kuala Kangsar town on Wednesday, 8th June 2016 at 10 am)