Hadi calls for unity as PAS gears up for snap polls

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
June 04, 201 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang told PAS to be united and gear up for the coming general election after his Islamist party experienced its most hotly-contested polls in recent history.

The party president also congratulated the delegates and candidates for showing maturity in accepting the election results gracefully.

“We lead as a collective and not individuals.

“It is the delegates who make changes in the party and not the leaders. The party’s policy won’t change but the strategy will,” he told delegates today.

Mohamad Sabu won the party deputy presidency today with 420 votes, leading a group of progressive leaders to counter conservatives who prefer to link up with Umno.

The Penang-born Mohamad defeated incumbent Nasharudin Mat Isa, who received only 224 votes, and vice-president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who came second with 399 votes. A total of 1,100 delegates voted in this year’s party elections.

In the vice-presidential race, incumbent Salahuddin Ayub took top spot with 753 votes, Datuk Husam Musa was second with 660 votes while another incumbent Datuk Mahfuz Omar kept his post with 616 votes.

The party poll was billed as a contest between the party’s conservative ulama faction and the professionals (dubbed the Erdogans in a reference to progressive Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan).

Hadi (picture) stressed that his new cabinet is an election cabinet and reiterated the party’s loyalty to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“PAS is the most experienced and oldest party in Pakatan Rakyat. We have been the government at the federal and state level. We have been through many political tests and they have given us their trust.

“They continue to trust us and has given three states (Kedah, Kelantan and Perak) for PAS to govern,” he said.

Yesterday, Hadi put an end to any question of the party leaving PR for Umno despite whispers of unity talks between the Malay parties emerging early this year.

Hadi said PAS must end Umno’s culture of dirty politics as the party did not stand for Islam or the Malay community because it only wanted to retain power at any cost.

Political analysts are speculating that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is likely to delay snap polls until the end of this year or early 2012.

  1. #1 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 June 2011 - 7:28 pm

    The results of PAS’s polls –with the Non Ulama so called “Erdrogans” identified with progressive forces won deputy presidency, all 3 vice presidency and majority (of 1) of central committee- augur well for Pakatan, and the opposite or UMNO/BN.

    In terms of both struggle for firstly Muslim/Malay leadership, and secondly the inclusive approach of cooperating with the political leadership of other races/religions PAS appears to have trumped UMNO in 3 senses:-

    (1) Within PAS progressives (for change) become dominant & found a voice; in UMNO it’s the opposite, the conservatives and reactionaries (against reforms) having so far trumped silent the progressive voices – hence no one supports the PM 1 Malaysia against the rhetoric of Perkasa.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 June 2011 - 7:34 pm

    (2) leaders from different backgrounds were voted by delegates based on (besides party’s work) their vision for change – obviously the political transformation in large swathes of the Middle East Muslim world have influenced them whereas delegates over the other side of the divide support those who have most to offer in terms of patronage/largesse still harping on broken record of race/religion.

    (3) In terms of trying to be more extremist on issues of religion to compete with PAS for the Malay Muslim Votes, UMNO has forgotten that it is competing the wrong/opposite way because PAS is competing to be more moderate and inclusive to secure the national vote rather than the same direction as UMNO. So instead of painting PAS as extreme UMNO has painted itself in the corner of being seen more extreme, going the wrong way!

    The only caveat is what President Hadi said: “Our policies remain but the strategy has changed.” Now what are those policies and the strategies and how one different from the other? This is the key to his thinking. But never mind. Right now he is focused on PR winning so that he has a major role to play. However he also concedes that “it is not impossible for a non-ulama to be elected as president if it fits the circumstances of the time, as the party constitution does not have such a restriction in that sense”. This means constitutionally there is no impediment for PAS’s further transformation to go nearer to main stream centre.

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