Can PAS hold the middle ground?
" (They) have deviated from Islam and should be condemned to Hell. "
- Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the proponents of the implementation of hudud ( 'A code of their own', Time Magazine, 2002)
COMMENT The big winner in the public relations stakes of the recently concluded PAS muktamar would appear to be Abdul Hadi Awang.
The "for all" in the "PAS for all" tagline is mainly for the non-Muslims/Malay. I have often made the argument that the sole political party in Malaysia, which has a firm ideological stance and have demonstrated commitment to its rhetoric, is PAS.
Whatever your views on Islam, PAS over the long Umno watch has been consistent in its rejection of Umno framing the conflict in religious terms, which often times pitted them against DAP.
The argument often made by DAP partisans is that PAS needs the coalition (thus the Chinese vote) to have a chance to claim the throne in Putrajaya. While this may be true, I would argue that without PAS, there would be no coalition with a credible chance of forming a new government...