PAS will be seen as theocratic and autocratic if it continues to be exclusive by recruiting members only from among religious studies graduates, warned Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.
In his latest blog posted today, the professional faction leader cautioned the growing trend of exclusiveness, which rejects non-ulama members.
He said this contradicted with the teachings and attitude of late spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat ( photo ), who emphasised the cooperation of ulama and professionals in the party.
Such exclusive attitude will cause the community to stay away from the Islamic party, Khalid cautioned.
As a consequence, PAS will fail in its duty as a political party, which should be open and act fairly to all parties, he added.
"This is not what Islam nor the party had wanted," Khalid said, adding that the party should take in members regardless of their religious qualification background.
The truth of one's speech should be based on debate, rather than the status of being an ustaz, he said.
The inclusiveness, which once opened its door to non-religious studies graduates should be upheld in the party, he emphasised.
Efforts to break the wall
The religious practitioners were generally seen to lack the ability to play their role in nation building, and they should instead focus on matters which relates to religion, he noted.
The community has viewed that the job of nation building should be taken by those who are professionally trained, he said.
Khalid said Nik Aziz had managed to rectify the growing trend to reject non-religious graduates.
There has been efforts to break the wall between both factions to prevent caste system from being formed in the party, where those with religious backgrounds were seen superior than others, he added.
"Unfortunately, the effort to topple the non-ulama faction through baseless allegations (has made a comeback), by labelling them as liberal and secular," he said.
Khalid added that the cooperation between both factions has stopped after 2008, and has been replaced by pro-ulama or anti-ulama sentiments.
This was meant to strenghten the position of the ulama faction in the party and secure posts, but such practice was in fact detrimental to them as they were perceived to have obtained religious knowledge for the sake of positions, he warned.
On Sunday, a former leader said the current PAS leadership does not represent a true Islamic political party, and at times even embarrasses the religion.
Speaking to Malaysiakini , Kuala Krai MP Dr Hatta Ramli said this was due to the behaviour of the party leaders.