Critical in the how PAS evolves ahead will be how the party resolves the ongoing personality debate over who outside the party it can trust. As the media reports have highlighted, center stage was PAS’s relationship with PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.
Party leaders and members have been regularly asking themselves whether they should trust Anwar to lead. The main issues raised among delegates included Anwar’s leadership style, his record in government, his character and his Islamic credentials.
The answers run the gamut within the party, with those expressing anxiety about Anwar’s leadership of the opposition to those strongly advocating unquestioning support. As is well known, the PAS muktamar debate in Ipoh last week and party president Abdul Hadi Awang’s speech professed a strong support in Pakatan Rakyat and support for Anwar as the leader of the opposition coalition, but stopped at giving him carte blanche to hold national power.