‘Lucky’ Mat Sabu aims to take PAS to wider audience

By Kow Gah Chie & Salhan K Ahmad
Jun 4, 11 | MalaysiaKini

Newly-elected PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said that he will take the mandate to place the Islamic party in the national mainstream by appealing to non-Malays and non-Muslims.

This, he said, is especially important in light of the upcoming general election.

“You can’t win elections just on the back of Malay support. I will endeavour to garner more support from non-Muslims using the Pakatan Rakyat platform,” said the popular grassroots leader.

Considering himself “lucky to have garnered grassroots support” in the three-way fight, the Penangite believes that he can strengthen the Islamic party’s relationship with Pakatan Rakyat.

Responding to claims that professionals have ousted the ulama from leadership, Mat Sabu insisted that PAS is still under the direction of the ulama who provide guidance through the syura council.

Kelantan senior exco member Husam Musa (left), who was elected vice-president today, said that the results show that the delegates understand the current political climate.

“The rakyat want politics which is reasonable and fair to a multicultural society so we need to convince both Malays and non-Malays that if there is a power shift, PAS is stable and inclusive,” he said.

Like Mat Sabu, Husam brushed off the ulama-professional dichotomy, saying that there was never any intention to sideline the ulama.

“I am not exactly a professional myself and (returned vice-presidents) Salahuddin (Ayub) and Mahfuz (Omar) and I were raised in ulama teachings,” he said.

For ousted deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa (left), the results show that there is still room for ulama in the party.

“There is quite a mixture in the line-up, although the number of ulama is getting smaller. If (the delegates) reject ulama there will be no representation but there are still a few names (in the central working committee),” he told reporters.

He added that the voice of the ulama is still strong in PAS because of the influential Syura Council, of which he is part.

Respecting the decision of the delegation, Nasharudin also said that the fact that the Ulama Council leaders were uncontested in the wing’s polls showed the stability among the ulama ranks.

Meanwhile, information chief Idris Ahmad, who missed out on the vice-president spot by about 100 votes, denied that the victors are ‘Anwarites’ who showed their ardent support of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

“No, this is just what the media says. The media also said the contest was heated, but I didn’t feel it. I accept (the defeat) with an open heart. I still have a lot of work to do in PAS,” he said.

  1. #1 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 4 June 2011 - 10:45 pm

    The comment ofIdris shows his maturity, in any contest there can’t be all winners. If you believe in the Party, stay and reform it if you have the support otherwise bend a little to meet the wish of the majority. This is certainly not acceptable to the machiavellian type; he won’t even leave after retirement! even when his ideas are no longer pertinent to the future of the nation.; but isn’t his concern! Statesman, lol!

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