PAS is now playing second fiddle in the opposition’s alliance as the party heeded the call to have former deputy president and member of the Syura council Nasharudin Mat Isa expelled.
Nasharuddin could not have been expelled at a better time since he was beside Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak during the premier’s visit to Gaza and participation at WEF in Davos, so the excuse is there… Nasharuddin has fallen out of line of the party leadership.
However, the truth of the matter is everybody’s knowledge – the party Syura Council and Ulamak chief Nik Aziz Nik Mat – had to tow the line of Pakatan Rakyat that Nasharuddin is a torn in the flesh as the three parties strategise to take over Putrajaya.
Nasharuddin, whose aim is to see the Malays who are Muslims united although possessing different political ideologies, has been marked by PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim since he was deputy president of PAS for being closely associated with Umno and BN.
Nasharuddin and former PAS vice-president Dr Hassan Ali had been the obstacles to Anwar’s dream of controlling the party from outside, the only Malay-based party he could put his hands on.
Nasharuddin had survived expulsion when he lost to Anwar’s man Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu in 2009 party election when Anwar managed to get most of his men in the party leadership line-up that included Husam Musa.
But at that time, Anwar could not do much to rid PAS of the fundamentalists hold as president Abdul Hadi Awang and secretary-general Mustapha Ali are still ‘fundamentalists die-hards' and the Syura Council members especially Dr Harun Taib and Dr Harun Din were all fundamentalists, holding on to the party’s mission since the 50s.
However, this time around, they seem to be bending down to pressure from DAP and Anwar personally as the action they took against Nasharuddin, although expected, is so swift or fast.
Despite Nasharuddin ‘overstaying his welcome’ in the party, the action is read as PAS allowing itself to be ‘dictated’ by DAP and PKR despite it (PAS) being the strongest party in the opposition pact.
The party has been trying hard, that is the veteran fundamentalists, not to allow Anwar to control it but given the latest leadership’s decision, the party seems to have mellowed or ‘under threat’.
In short, despite all the upheavals and issues that are against Islam and Muslims, PAS seems to have no choice but to tow the line of the opposition pact, which inevitably erodes its influence among die-hard fundamentalists members and supporters.
Even now, die-hard fundamentalist are demonstrating against DAP and calling for the party to break away from the opposition pact on issues concerning the use of word ALLAH.
PAS is now in a ‘Catch 22’ position – if the party does not tow the line it will be left alone in the coming general election and if it follows every tune the opposition pact dance, it would lose its support.
Given the situation, PAS is expected to play the balancing act as it does not want to lose the opportunity to have its president Abdul Hadi as Prime Minster, the post it will have to ‘fight it out’ with Anwar, if the opposition wins the general election.