“I have a Master’s degree in Islamic political science and that is why the party entrusted me to be its leader and the menteri besar of Terengganu, and I have helmed the state for so long.”
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said this in response to Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s allegation that Hadi had zero political knowledge and was unfit to lead any government.
Hadi said he earned his Master's Degree in Siasah Syariah (Islamic Political Science) at the Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, in 1976.
The PAS president also rapped the former premier for accusing him of having failed to administer Terengganu.
“The failure of the state administration at that time was in fact due to the interference of the federal government, which was then led by Mahathir.
“There were many economic and administrative constraints (when PAS ruled Terengganu) as there was an interference by the federal government, and the interference contravened the state's development policy at that time,” he explained.
Similarly, Hadi said the rights of the people in Kelantan had also been denied following the interference of federal government in the state administration then.
But Kelantan, under PAS' leadership, survived and remains strong until today, he told reporters after delivering a talk on the 14th general election (GE14) at PAS Headquarters in Kampung Rawai in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
Hadi said the people could judge for themselves the allegation made by Mahathir and the truth behind it.
Meanwhile, on his decision not to contest the Rhu Rendang state seat in the GE14, the PAS president said the move would enable him to focus on the party's administration at the national level.
“At the same time, I have also been appointed the vice-president of the World Union of Islamic Scholars and therefore, I do not think it is appropriate for me to contest the Rhu Rendang State seat,” he said.
According to Hadi, PAS was also ready to be a “kingmaker” (political mastermind) and collaborate with any party to uphold Islam and carry out justice for the people as a whole.
“PAS will stick to its principles and will only prioritise cooperation that benefits the religion and the nation. We are optimistic of winning 40 parliamentary seats in GE14 and improve our performance than the last general election.
In GE13, PAS won 21 parliamentary seats by teaming up with DAP and PKR in Pakatan Rakyat, but for the GE14, PAS formed a new opposition pact called Gagasan Sejahtera with non-government organisations and several political parties.