The unity of Pas' supporters is crucial for them in the general election.
KUALA LUMPUR: Pas' newly-minted members, made up of popular personalities including those from the entertainment world, is an attempt to boost its image and to check declining support, political observers say.
They say Pas is facing major problems in uniting their supporters due to conflicting views caused by the existence of different camps within the party.
They also believe there is an undercurrent of discontent as these differing views are causing confusion among supporters as well as fence sitters on Pas' actual struggle and objectives.
Umno veteran Tan Sri Aziz Shamsuddin told The Mole that Pas grassroot supporters were confused with the party's conflicting agendas.
He said its supporters are also unhappy with the party's leadership for not playing a keyrole in Pakatan Rakyat's decision-making.
"I think they (supporters) are getting frustrated with the leadership's attitude that is indecisive and repeatedly making excuses for certain issues," said Aziz adding that they are also beginning to question the sincerity of their leaders.
Aziz said, Pas needs to ensure that it continues to get unwavering support as the general election is just around the corner hence, attracting well-known figures as members is a crucial move to regain support.
Pas had previously attracted prominent people to join the party such as former high-ranking police officers, professionals and also those from the entertainment industry.
Another political analyst viewed this as a desperate act and in a way proves that Pas is losing its prominence in keeping its struggle relevant.
Kedah-based Md Shukri Shuib said: "The ulama council is no longer playing its role as the powerful decision-making body and they are losing grip as the leadership is being dominated by professionals, and now we see entertainers joining the party.
"Obviously we can see the trend in Pas is changing. Islamic agenda is no longer considered as their priority and we can see that people who are controlling the party are rooting for power, financial gains and positions," he said.
Md Shukri who lectures at Universiti Utara Malaysia views that Pas is trying hard to rebrand itself by absorbing different kind of people and intellect.
The Mole had reported earlier, political analysts view Pas as losing its grip in the Pakatan coalition due to the conflict and divisiveness that is happening within the party.
The party was told to deal with the issue of separate camps in the party if they want to remain relevant in the coalition.
In an article carried by news portal Malaysian Digest, Pas was reported to be interested in wooing former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to join the party.
“Tun (Abdullah) is already a Pas member by nature. I am confident that I will be able to influence him to join Pas just like I did with Datuk Ramli Buyong,” said the party's central committee member Mazlan Aliman.
However, blogger Whart Eva said Pas' action might backfire because since the political tsunami in 2008 most Malaysians have been critical of Abdullah.
The blogger thinks that having Abdullah as a member may cause Pas supporters to lose faith in the party and this will further erode its support base.