Kelantan PAS is heading for a show-down as the ruling faction stands by its decision that street protests and rallies aimed at toppling the government is not the party’s way while Husam Musa and the faction closed to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim describes the decision as “voices of Umno”.
Kelantan's Deputy Chief Minister, Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah reiterated the state’s as well as the party’s stand that Kelantan PAS rejected any effort to topple the legitimately elected Federal Government through violence and street demonstrations.
Nik Mohd Amar said an “Arab Spring” would not be beneficial and would only be detrimental to the nation as “it is not suitable in Malaysia as it brings evil into the country”.
“Let's wait another three years, at least, and select a government through a general election,” he said.
And Husam, sidelined from the state PAS exco line-up, called the differing stand as “voices of Umno and they seem to be the spokesmen of Umno”.
Before Nik Mohd Amar repeated the stand, the party Ulamak Council chief Dr Harun Taib PAS deputy youth chief Nik Abduh Nik Aziz had voiced similar opinions.
As far as Husam is concerned, two were (Dr Harun and Nik Abduh) were not present when the party’s central committee decided to support the rallies as "avenue for the voters, majority young voters, to express their dissatisfaction over the way the recent general election was conducted, not the result".
“Dr Harun and Nik Abduh were not present at the central committee meeting when we decided to support the rallies on point of not fair, not rejecting the results of the general election but the manner the general election was conducted."
“Just like foreign observers said it – the general election was free but not fair. And Dr Harun and Nik Abduh statements did not represent the party,” he said.
Under the given scenario, the split in PAS Kelantan reflects a crystal clear split in the party on the whole between the party’s fundamentalists led by president Abdul Hadi Awang and pro-Anwar faction is no longer hidden and contained but instead is open and looks like there is no reconciliation.
The pro-Anwar group that also included deputy president Mohamed Sabu or Mat Sabu is expected to launch as offensive on the leadership in the coming party election scheduled in November aimed at dominating the line-up so that the party could be steered towards the needs of Anwar and PKR.
The group had succeeded in dominating the leadership in the 2009 party election that saw then incumbent deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, who is friendly with Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) being defeated.
Despite dominating the leadership which is the central committee with more than half, decisions taken were subjected to the blessings of the Ulamak Council which had ‘soured’ relationship between the party and its partners in Opposition (PR) on issues concerning fundamentals of Islam.
The party has been blamed for the unexpected poor showing in the recently concluded general election but the party stood by its fundamentalism which angered the pro-Anwar group.
Now that the differences in opinions and views are being openly debated especially on the issue of demonstration and protest, the pro-Anwar group is expected to launch a heavy offensive in the coming party election to take control.
Insiders said the president Abdul Hadi might even find himself being challenged if the pro-Anwar group succeeded in building sufficient sentiments.
“The split is clear and the line is also clearly drawn. It is whether the move gathers sufficient pressure to remove Hadi,” said an insider.