PAS at a crossroad – Islam or politics

 |Mar 24, 2017
The late PAS leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Former PAS leader, the late Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat once said that the only reason PAS existed was because Umno does not want to implement Islamic laws, meaning the sharia, completely.

In other words, sharia laws already exist in Malaysia and have existed long before even the British came to Malaya.

But it is not being implemented in totality. PAS wants to see all sharia laws implemented and not just some of them.

Nik Aziz added that if Umno can undertake the task of implementing sharia laws then we do not need PAS any longer.

PAS can actually be closed and all the PAS members can go and join Umno.

This was Nik Aziz’s open declaration that PAS does not regard Umno as the enemy and can actually work with Umno (or even join Umno) if Umno supports Islamic laws.

In July 2006, Mahathir Mohamad went to Kota Bahru and a dinner was thrown in his honour.

Nik Aziz was asked whether he would be attending the dinner and he said he was not invited but if he was he would.

That night Niz Aziz gate-crashed the dinner anyway and an extra chair had to be placed at the main table to make the ten-seater table now an 11-seater.

Nik Aziz said his reason for attending the dinner, although uninvited, was because as the Kelantan menteri besar, it was a proper protocol that he paid his respects to an ex-Malaysian prime minister.

The reason the organisers did not invite Nik Aziz is because they thought the MB would turn down the invitation.

Mahathir had detained Nik Aziz’s son, Nik Adli, for five years without trial in 2001 and Nik Aziz had said he would never forgive Mahathir for doing that until the end of time.

So, Mahathir detained Nik Aziz’s son for five years and Nik Aziz will never forgive Mahathir for that.

But when Mahathir came to his state, Nik Aziz still paid his respects to the ex-prime minister.

He did not allow his personal feelings about Mahathir stand in the way of proper protocol or of doing the proper ‘Malay thing’.

I first met Nik Aziz in Kota Bharu back in 1995.

It was Mustafa Ali, who I had known since 1978, who brought me to meet Nik Aziz.

At that time the PAS president was Fadzil Muhammad Noor, who I met in Mekah in 1982.

Since then I visited Fadzil in his home in Alor Setar a few times and he always looked me up when he came to Kuala Terengganu. I have also been very close to the current PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, whom I first met in 1978 soon after he returned to Malaysia after his studies in Medina and Cairo.

Basically, my long association with the PAS leaders has given me an understanding of what they want and how they think.

For example, Mustafa Ali said PAS was not interested in winning elections.

It is more interested in implementing Islam.

However, if that can only be done if you hold power, then PAS will participate in the elections to gain power, but only so that it can serve Islam.

In short, winning elections is not the endgame.

Winning elections is a means to an end.

The endgame is to serve Islam.

And the means to serve Islam is to get into power.

So the way to get into power would be the game-plan you work on.

And the game-plan would be to work with those who can assist you to get into power, or work with those who will serve Islam once they are in power.

It was a very simple aspiration, at least back in the 1970s and 1980s it was –
Objective: serve Islam.
Means: get into power if that is the way (or only way) you can serve Islam.
Strategy: do what is required to get into power.
Doctrine: the end justifies the means as long as the endgame is to serve Islam.

That, however, changed in 2008.

Although initially it was all about serving Islam, in 2008 those PAS leaders who won seats in the general election started to enjoy power for the sake of power.

The power they held was no longer about serving Islam.

It was about personal gain, glory and satisfaction.

No longer were they serving Islam but Islam was serving them.

They used Islam or hid behind Islam to get into power.

Pakatan Rakyat started with noble intentions when it was first set up in 2008.

However, after just two-and-a-half years, it began to deviate and it looked like Pakatan Rakyat was heading downhill.

Just two-and-a-half years and already Pakatan Rakyat was facing doom.

Some of us saw this coming and in 2010 we warned Anwar Ibrahim about it.

However, instead of doing something, Anwar labelled us as troublemakers and the Pakatan Rakyat leaders kept their distance from us.

By the next general election in 2013, it was no longer about serving Islam, the people or the country.

It was about getting into power for the sake of power.

And that was why soon after the 2013 general election Pakatan Rakyat collapsed and closed down.

One can understand if DAP and PKR lusted for power because these two parties are in this game for the sake of power.

But to see PAS become photocopies of DAP and PKR was puzzling and alarming.

Suddenly Islam was no longer important.

Islam no longer drove PAS.

Serving Islam was not the motive any more.

It was all about power because power tasted good and with power you can gain a lot, money being just one the them.

The breakup of Pakatan Rakyat was not surprising and was expected.

Even the breakup of PAS was not surprising and was expected.

Amanah just had to come into being to house those in PAS who no longer wanted to serve Islam but wanted Islam to save them or to use Islam to gain power.

What is alarming, however, is that they are still quite a few in PAS whose hearts are in Amanah.

PAS needs to purge the party of such elements.

People whose hearts are in Amanah should be kicked out so that they can leave the party and go join Amanah.

Even senior leaders like Mustafa Ali, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Takiyuddin Hassan, Mahfuz Omar, Iskandar Abdul Samad, Rosli Yaakop, etc., seem to be more DAP-friendly than Islam-friendly.

There are many in PAS who feel that the party should join Pakatan Harapan.

In the first place wasn’t Pakatan Harapan created because they wanted to kick PAS out of Pakatan Rakyat?

So how do you justify PAS joining Pakatan Harapan?

Do these PAS people have no maruah (dignity)?

They say that all those PAS leaders who are Umno-friendly should be ousted.

So who do you want as PAS leaders?

You want DAP-friendly PAS leaders?

You want PAS to not work with Umno but to join Pakatan Harapan?

PAS or these PAS people have forgotten their roots and are now only interested in power for the sake of power.

I am sure if PAS can openly declare that it was abandoning Islamic laws and supported the secular system, Pakatan Harapan will not only welcome the party into the opposition coalition, but PAS can also win at least 20 parliament seats with Chinese votes.

But to win those 20 parliament seats PAS needs to first declare that it was turning its back on Islam. – Malaysia Today

Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.