INTERVIEW In comparing PAS ulama from several decades ago to the ones today, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu says the ulama from olden days were respected for their character instead of educational background.
“Why was the late (PAS spiritual leader) Nik Abdul Aziz (Nik Mat) respected? It was because of his character.
"When he was Kelantan menteri besar, he lived modestly and declined the privileges given to him," said Mohamad in an interview with Malaysiakini earlier this week.
"He walks the talk, that’s why people respected him even the non-Muslims."
Mohamad - better known as Mat Sabu - added the same could be said for the late (former PAS president) Fadzil Noor, who till his death, fought to uphold the truth and human rights.
"This is the kind of people we want. Whoever wants to be an ulama must have such a character.
"Just because one studied religion, must he or she be automatically regarded as an ulama?" he asked.
He went on to elaborate that he had cited as examples those who have passed away because some ulama in PAS who had initially fought against Umno in the end embraced their bitter rivals and turned against their own party.
Mat Sabu's remark is seen as a subtle jibe against supporters of the ulama faction in PAS who are seen to be amicable with Umno...