Monday, March 7, 2016

Husam proposes Tuan Ibrahim replace Hadi to revitalise ‘pussycat’ PAS

Influential Kelantan PAS leader Datuk Husam Musa has given a radical proposal to put the floundering Islamist party back into the mainstream of politics, one that is sure to ruffle the party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. Husam has called on the party's deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man to take over from Hadi, whom he said should step down as president and take over as the PAS "murshidul am" or spiritual leader. Husam, a former vice-president and one of the PAS's most nationally recognisable figures, said there was precedent for this when the late Yusof Rawa was appointed spiritual leader in 1989 and handed the reins to Datuk Fadzil Noor, who became acting president. Fadzil is fondly remembered by PAS members as the person responsible for taking the party mainstream by making it appealing to professionals from outside the religious education establishment. In a scathing observation of PAS's status now, Husam, who was two-term MP for Kubang Kerian, said the party was now a "third force" in the national political landscape. "PAS seems like it is being run like a student association by people who are inexperienced. PAS has changed from a brave lion into a pussycat that does not know where it wants to go," Husam told The Malaysian Insider. But the party's fortunes can be reversed if Tuan Ibrahim, who is former Pahang PAS commissioner, takes over, says Husam. Husam is among the few "progressives" left in PAS, which saw most of the faction leave to form Parti Amanah Negara after the conservative leadership under Hadi moved to cut ties with DAP last year, leading to the collapse of the old opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat. Husam's proposal comes following a survey by think tank Ilham Centre, which found that PAS members felt directionless due to contrasting statements from top leaders as well as a lack of cohesion, now that is no longer part of a national opposition pact. The latest example of this was PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan's statement that the party would not join the Citizens' Declaration initiative led by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. However, three PAS leaders, Datuk Mustafa Ali, Datuk Mahfuz Omar and Datuk Khairudin Aman Razali attended the declaration's launch on March 4, adding their names to the document that includes a call for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's removal from office. Tuan Ibrahim later clarified that the three had gone with Hadi's approval. Despite having criticised Hadi in the past, Husam said he had no grudges towards the president. "I love the PAS leadership such as Ustaz Hadi. When I proposed that Hadi become the murshidul am or be appointed the deputy murshidul am, I do it in the hopes that a respectful transition can happen. "I have made this suggestion many times in my ceramah for PAS members to think about it. This suggestion is not to belittle the president but as a gesture of respect," Husam said. "This so that those without political baggage can play a role in the next general election." – March 8, 2016.]]>

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