Live Earth-Yusuf Islam-Wild World
No Malaysian mindful of Change can ignore what's happening in PAS, a partner in the Pakatan Rakyat, out of its Muktamar or AGM last week. That has attracted a myriad of opinions. For a while the Perak consitutional crisis has taken a back seat. Even Najib's '1Malaysia' gimmick can't get near the the furor of comments from across the political divides. The BN, not to be outdone appears to have cooked another bad dish out of the PPP charade.
What's with PAS?
The subject that sent the ire of PAS's sympathizers and voters is the issue of the unity talks with UMNO. Despite Hadi's assertion " that there was no need for PAS to share 'other people’s ship' as 'our ship is already strong enough' " nothing could allay the concerns and fears of Pakatan Rakyat's members and sympathizers.
What's with PAS?
The major fear is the suspicion that the Ulama(Cleric) faction in PAS are bent on ethnic ties to the Ketuanan Melayu belief of UMNO, the cultural sentiments and the so-called unfinished business of stamping Malay superiority and eliminating dissent to it. The PAS Youth's resolution of retaining the bumiputera 30% share of the economic pie is a puzzle to many whether for lack of political correctness in tandem with the spirit of contemporay opposition or for lack of belief in the new found hope and platforms for change. All these is despite the slogan on Islam is not Malay; that Islam is for all, thus the slogan PAS for All.
Many fear PAS has gotten the virus from UMNO and the lure of wealth by dubious means as the solution to all problems, personal or organizational. Many too, remember whilst in the wilderness PAS literally fast in their fight to establish a meaningful political presence. The Arqam movement that the Government crushed was believed to have acquired capital and skills in the wake of fearful stories of wife swapping rolled out by UMNO. PAS perseverence has been its own and never for any lifeline that UMNO could have thrown out.
You can't turn back the clocks but you can change tactics and it seems UMNO has turned suitor again after dumping PAS out of the BN decades ago. This time round, is it UMNO the party and the elitist wealthy leaders or is it disenchanted UMNO members? The latter may tug at heart strings for some PAS leaders, despite being wary about faint hearted members. The big question is, what if the 13th GE drops on everybody's head in 24 weeks? The state of the economy is so worrying that Najib had to take a hike to China and puffed up a show stealing some limelight out of the PAS' Mukatamar. If that is not enough, they had to prompt the silly problems in the PPP which they can do without.
Since the last 12th GE, Malaysians have been voting any party but the BN whose candidates have been licked each time except in the Nation's backwaters, Batang Ai, Sarawak. Each time the PR confronted the BN, voters sent in the PR to the extent that the trend has, as one of the factors, created the constitutional limbo in Perak when UMNO turned PR members defected - it used to be anyone but the BN. To observers, the cruel retort is you get what you deserve!
PAS has somewhat stolen the thunder from its PR counterparts by giving up its Islamic State ambition. It went further and has just recently created the non-Muslim wing of the Party to change in its fight for better government by changing tactics from its previous lip service damning of corrupt UMNO leaders. That previous stance never worked. It changed and that's a welcome sign. As an organization PAS lives on. UMNO lives on but has never attempted to change and only recycled its bad old ways. Many believe UMNO will break up and perhaps recreate themselves in different forms. It cannot stay as it is for if it does, Malaysia will drain its brains, and turn itself into a fascist state, which it has to an extent This is perhaps the fear amongst some PAS or PR members or sympathizers, if as a parasitic organization it attaches itself to PAS. As a living organization PAS will face, like any human, threats or viral hazards. PAS can't be superstitious that H1N1 is upon us right now. You can say that of UMNO but not PAS.
Anwar Ibrahim's Paris speech reminding a Muslim's "blood, property and honour are as sacred as Mecca" might set the tone for greater focus and resolve for reforms drive in PAS and PR. PAS members can no longer pay lip service of damnation. They have to interprete justice into real world gains. Or so, it is hoped!