PAS deputy presidency candidate Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has urged the Islamist party to be more sensitive to the people’s concerns including corruption and economic problems facing the nation.
At the same time, the incumbent PAS vice-president said he also wants to strengthen the party through training programmes and informal meetings (santai) between party members and their leaders.
In an e-mail interview with Malaysiakini, Tuan Ibrahim said these were among his short-term agendas for the party if he is elected as PAS deputy president for the 2015-17 term.
The below set of five questions were posed by Malaysiakini to PAS candidates vying for the president, deputy president and vice-president posts at party elections next month.
The following is an excerpt from the interview with Tuan Ibrahim.
Q: What are your short-term and long-term plans if elected?
“The short-term vision is that the basis of the party’s strength depends on ties between the members. Therefore the first task is to strengthen their relations through training programmess (tarbiah) and informal meetings (santai) with the leadership. We have only one strength and that is the sincerity of our struggle.
“PAS members and leaders need to be taught to be more sensitive to the issues of graft, the economy and the common people’s problems. As an analogy, the various components of a building (sand, cement, and water) need to be together, otherwise they can’t achieve anything.
As for (my) long-term vision, PAS is not only the party that was the first to hold elections but also the first to translate Islam (into) a ‘blessings for all’ concept for in the midst of Umno’s Ketuanan Melayu agenda.
We came up with ‘blessings for all’ and not just for Malays and Muslims. This has made PAS into a very important party. Other parties then had to change their perceptions towards PAS.
Q: What do you think of PAS’ performance of late? What about its strengths and weaknesses?
PAS’ strength is its adherence to Islam based on the Lillah (for Allah) concept, which is to do good in the name of Allah. And by having the Unit Amal, it demonstrates sincerity in our struggles.
PAS’ weakness is that it is slow to deal with internal crises that have been raised in the social media and not being seen as moving in unison with party decisions and the president.
(It) needs to work harder to turn Islam into a way of life and it needs to strengthen information systems so that the voice of our enemies will not get a foothold in PAS.
Q: What is the main crisis or problem that PAS needs to resolve immediately?
PAS’ enemies know that PAS cannot be split by outside issues so they try to use internal issues. Our enemies are working to place their ‘elements’ within PAS to divide PAS.
Don’t bring these voices into the party to the extent where we grow distrustful of one another. And don’t ever spread anything that is not good. This is the problem that needs to be resolved immediately.
Q: What is the best and fastest way to tackle this?
PAS’ challenge today is that the new media cannot be controlled. Each PAS member needs to be taught to stop the labelling and discriminating between themselves.
Don’t listen to rumours and don’t easily believe in unknown ‘ghosts’ on social media. These open the doors for the enemy to sow discord in PAS. This space needs to be shut tight.
Aside from that, PAS members at all levels need to bear the responsibility of keeping the party’s secrets. Remember that Allah is watching our every move including the information that we spread.
Q: What are your hopes for the new PAS central committee including the party wings?
Don’t let people leave the party in disappointment. Don’t form a ‘party within a party’. Bring them back to the struggle.
PAS needs to be seen as a party that continues with Islam’s struggle – a party that is sensitive to the people’s welfare and hates graft and wrongdoings.
In politics, PAS must be firm in policy but flexible in strategy and approach. This practice would also become the core of PAS’ stance in working with our partners in Pakatan Rakyat to topple our mutual enemy, which is Umno and BN at the 14th general election which will be our best chance.