Malaysiakini Letter

Edging closer to a new frontier - Pakatan Baru

Karamjit Gill  |  Published:  |  Modified:

It has always been a no-brainer that PAS would eventually be axed from the Pakatan coalition. The late Karpal Singh and Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz played all their cards to keep the relationship of convenience with PAS under control. However, ever since their demise the entire coalition is experiencing an avalanche.

Once upon a time, the world applauded Malaysia as the most moderate Muslim country in the world. Unfortunately, today we stand far away from such claims; possibly furthest away than we have ever been.

Malaysian gymnast Farah Ann has been dominating the headlines lately. Instead of lauding the feat in the SEA games, the narrow-minded religious bigots have been gung-ho in condemning her attire. This is 2015, merely five years short of Vision 2020 and sporting attire in Muslim women have become a topic of debate.

In the 1970s and 80s, nobody questioned our track and field queen Mumtaz Jaafar or swimming sensation Nurul Huda Abdullah. A few months ago, PAS Youth hit the headlines by claiming a school in Johor forced a Muslim female student to wear tight shorts in a Big Walk competition. Over the years, the mindset of many Malaysians seem to have regressed rather than progressing towards a developed moderate nation.

Who’s fault?

PAS has always been a front-runner in promoting extremism in Malaysia. In the past, PAS always bore a mix of progressive and conservative leaders as they were elected according to individuals.

However, the most recent PAS elections swayed towards conservativeness. Delegates this time voted according to an endorsed list of conservative individuals. Pro-Pakatan leaders are virtually extinct in the PAS leadership presently. Even Mohamad Sabu got the axe.

While, Malaysia’s sour ex-prime minister endorses the existence of Perkasa and even defended Perkasa’s suggestion of burning the Bible, on the other hand PAS is promoting their own extremist interpretations of the religion. Today, it is evident that the biggest mistake the opposition made was allowing PAS to be part of the Pakatan coalition, giving them a medium to strive on.

The cold war brewing in the Pakatan coalition between PAS and DAP-PKR is facing its terminal end. The immediate sacking of PAS member Mohd Fadzil Kemi from his post as a communication office at the Chief Minister’s Office in Penang speaks volumes by itself. Lim Guan Eng has urged PAS members in the Penang state government to relinquish their positions.

Flip-flopping like a rubber ball

The PAS muktamar has unanimously decided to severe ties with DAP but all of a sudden the newly-elected PAS Dewan Ulama chief has pleaded with the party representatives not to resign from their positions in the Selangor and Penang state governments as a final decision from the Shura council is pending. I find it rather amusing that a party like PAS which claims to be following the right path and fighting for their beliefs is flip-flopping like a rubber ball.

The most hilarious statement ever released from PAS is they are trying to establish a working relationship with DAP because both DAP and PAS need each other to strengthen their grip in states they won respectively in the last general election. Need each other? I beg to differ with PAS here. DAP does not need a symbiotic relationship with PAS. PAS is in fact a parasite in the Pakatan coalition.

I sincerely hope the top office-bearers in Pakatan reach a consensus to eradicate PAS from the Pakatan coalition. I wish this would be done as soon as possible so we can work towards GE14 and not continue to be held back by conservative heads from PAS.

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