Of late, PAS leaders seem to have over-estimated their value in Pakatan Rakyat after the March 8 Election.
PAS leaders such as Ustaz Hadi Awang appeared to have got swollen-headed when UMNO came crawling to them.
Recent media performance by PAS leaders indicates they have taken for granted the votes from non Muslims and non Malays in March.
Ustaz Hadi Awang has forgotten too easily that PAS was given the vote especially by the non-Malays because PAS was part of the Pakatan Rakyat, and NOT for any other reason, much less so because of its Islamic mandate or that its Members of Parliament or State Assemblymen are all Muslims.
Let us say at the outset, PAS as a political party on its own is unattractive and a non-starter political party for non-Malays and non Muslims outside Kelantan as well as to most moderate and liberal Muslims. Its turban-wearing leaders and supporters in long robes are antithetical to the life-style of ordinary Malaysians, both for majority of Malays and non Malays.
Some PAS leaders' actions since March 2008 are great disappointments and found wanting. For instance, PAS leadership's response to the Bar Council forum was mixed and sent the wrong signals to non-Muslim voters .
The presence of PAS Youth chief, Salahuddin Ayub, marching side by side with those uncivilised UMNO-backed NGO Muslim protesters at the Bar Council forum, only confirmed the worst fears of non Muslims who had voted for PAS in March.
The sanctioning of the secret meetings with UMNO is a dishonest act by PAS , whether you want to call it "muzakarah" or "muqabalah" or whatever spin or label you want to put on it. Those culprits caught engaging in the secret meetings should have been asked to resign from their positions.
It is our view that in any partnership, an UNRELIABLE and DISHONEST PARTNER is a liability in the medium to long term. The costs for maintaining the partnership's viability and sustainability under such circumstances are simply too high to bear.
It would be much better for the other partners to take the 'blow on the chin',so to speak, by cutting their losses EARLY than to let such unstable partnership to rot over time.
The onus is on PAS to show in no uncertain terms to other Pakatan Rakyat partners, its sincerity, honesty and willingness to be a TEAM player for the long haul.
For starters, making unilateral demands through media blackmails got to stop immediately.
Secondly, PAS leaders should be demanded to get their act together and to stop sending out wrong signals to Malaysians each time an issue on Islam or religion is being debated.
Thirdly, the Ulama Council should either rein in the wayward PAS leaders or remove them from the public eye, especially those whose statements are seen as threatening the stability of the coalition.
And lastly, PAS leaders should abruptly stop making media statements to blackmail, intimidate and destabilise the Pakatan Rakyat coalition. These should be done among coalition partners behind closed-doors.
Failing which, we say, for the sake of the Pakatan Rakyat voters and in the interest of coalition stability, it is time for PKR and DAP to politely ask PAS to leave the coalition NOW.
The reason is simple: PAS's continued presence under these adverse conditions makes the opposition coalition untenable and unsustainable, and the big losers are the poor rakyat in the five opposition states.
Perhaps, as Hadi Awang, Mustafa Ali and Nasharudin Mat Isa who had so quietly desired, PAS is better off in the arms of UMNO in Barisan Nasional.
And we wish PAS all the best of luck if it wants to go it alone or to be in cahoot again with Barisan Nasional.
Read here and here in The Sun
PAS appears to be contemplating leaving the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition. PAS's difficult relationship with the other PR component parties relate to issues on Islam and the PR leadership.
Should it leaves PR, PAS may open its door to non-Muslims. There are already calls from within the party for it to go multi-racial and to give non-Muslims high positions in the party.
A PAS source was quoted as saying,
"The three parties are unable to reach a consensus on Islam. Indeed we have differences which should be overcome before they break up the coalition.Hadi Awang, who is believed to be in the same camp in PAS with Nasharudin wanting to collaborate with UMNO, said,
We cannot depend on others in the long term. We found that we obtained a lot of support from non-Muslims in the March 8 general election. This is one reason why we did very well this time. It is beyond our expectations."
PAS has been urged to quit the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government should it be formed on Sept 16 if Islam is being left out and the ulama leadership does not get the place it deserves.
"PAS will not hesitate to leave PR if the number of non-Muslim MPs in PR exceeds that of Muslim MPs as a result of defections from BN. PAS will not be part of the PR central government if the party cannot get any benefit by remaining in the coalition."
The party's Selangor Youth representative, Zulkifli Ahmad, said the 12th general election victory which gave five states to PAS, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), had started to erode the term "Islamic Country" from the lips of PAS leaders.
"Some say don't mention 'Islamic Country' if we want the support of non-Muslims. Now, we have to talk about Caring State to the extent of some preventing president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang from talking about 'Islamic Country'," he said when debating the policy address of PAS Youth head in the movement's 49th annual assembly in Indera Mulia Stadium here today.
"Is PAS willing to join the government to be formed if its president becomes a mere Youth Minister and the role of ulama is just to issue fatwa and they are treated like a 'clog' to be used only when a fatwa is required?" he asked.
"Why is Hadi not mentioned as a leader who should get recognition? Where is the 'Ulama Leadership' slogan?" he asked, to the applause of party delegates and observers.
Penang representative Mohd Radzuan Ramli turned on the heat when he reminded PAS not to demolish the Umno "old jahiliyah" government and replace it with a new jahiliyah government.
"Some are loyal to the PR colleagues and follow the instructions and voices of PR colleagues but do not heed the directives of the PAS leadership. When they are with PR, they lose their voice for the 'Islamic Country' struggle as though fearing that the non-Muslims will be uncomfortable," he said.
He said if the government to be formed did not put Islam above everything else, PAS should quit.
"We should not be too engrossed to demolishing the Umno old jahiliyah government on Sept 16 and replacing it with a new jahiliyah government which realises the interests of outsiders like America," he said.
Terengganu representative Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah reminded the leadership and party members not to praise Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim too highly but take a more careful atttitude towards the PKR adviser.
He said many of Anwar's speeches and statements, especially in the 12th general election, were confusing and as though he did not want to see Islam become the dominant force in the country.
"We should not forget that for 16 years Anwar had become an obstacle to PAS' resurgence in the country. Some say we should not dig up the past but we should also look back once a while as we move forward," he said.
Meanwhile, the issue of Umno-PAS discussions did not get centre stage as many representatives focused their attention on issues relating to the PR state governments and the need to give priority to Islam and the role of ulama.
Kedah representative Mohd Lotfi Arifin chided PAS leaders whom he said had started to play politics and deviate from the party's original struggle of upholding Islam.
"Our original struggle is Islam but now some have separated politics from religion. Some say the Quran is the Quran and politics is politics. Should we bring these people forward? We should not sacrifice the struggle for self interest," he said.
Johor representative Azam Abdul Razak wanted PAS Youth to play the role of "check and balance" on the leadership especially after the victory of forming governments and to ensure none of them changed their lifestyles and start accumulating treasures.