Pas secretary-general Mustafa Ali says that Pas won't leave the coalition (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: Pas will remain in Pakatan Rakyat even though some quarters are saying that Pas is risking the coalition's chances of a good outing in the upcoming general election.
In a recent interview with The Mole, Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali insisted that the cooperation between component leaders remains intact and any misunderstanding would be put aside at the moment.
“There is no such thing for Pas to leave Pakatan. Such talks are baseless and we will remain in the coalition.
“If there is indeed a feud, as alleged, it probably involves the grassroot,” he said.
Mustafa was responding on write-ups that Pas' stand on the ‘Kalimah Allah’ issue (the use of the word Allah in Malay-language Bibles) and its gender-segregation policies in Kedah and Kelantan would affect the coalition.
Quoting a few PR leaders and lawmakers as sources, a news portal stated that the coalition might lose a significant number of non-Muslim votes due to the party’s stand on sensitive issues.
“A Pas leader who declined to be named admitted that the party’s conservative stance would have an effect on support from the non-Muslim electorate.
“There is an impact and we have to mitigate it,” the leader was reportedly said, adding the conservatives held sway as they controlled the party’s top leadership.
It was reported yesterday that some Pas members had protested in front of DAP’s chairman Karpal Singh's office and criticising the Bukit Gelugor lawmaker for questioning Pas' Majlis Syura decision over the ‘Allah’ issue.
The placards carried by the demonstrators varied, from: "Orang Melayu Jangan Undi Karpal di Gelugor (Malays should not vote for Karpal in Gelugor) to “Kami pertahankan Majlis Syura Ulama" (We defendThe Ulama Syura Council) and “Pas patut keluar PR (Pas should leave PR (Pakatan Rakyat)”.
However, Pas Penang deputy commissioner Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa was quick to dismiss that protestors were actually Pas members and said investigation would be carried out only if report lodged.
He also claimed that there’s a possibility the protest might be orchestrated by Umno members.
However, it was reported that the rally was led by Pas Tanjong permanent chairman Zaidi Abu Bakar.
A few bloggers had pointed out that the partnership between Islamic-based Pas, liberal-minded PKR and chauvinist-oriented DAP would never work.
Portal The Choice claimed Pas’ aggressive Islamist agenda and the inability of DAP and PKR to rein in their partner would make the coalition weak.
"And given the recent squabbles over the word “Allah” it is no longer a question of ‘if’ non-Muslims lose interest in the Opposition coalition, but ‘when’.
"Where does that leave an increasingly shaky Pakatan? With non-Muslim support melting away, DAP and PKR will have to increasingly rely on PAS’ Islamist support, leaving the Opposition coalition even more reliant on PAS than before," the portal wrote.
However, blogger Tunku Aisha stated that both DAP and Pas have to regain the support of their grass root members.
"Going on party philosophy alone is insufficient to pull the Chinese votes as not all Chinese are chauvinistic and thus, the hope to get all Chinese to support the party is just a dream.
"PAS on the other hand has made it open that the party will stick to its fundamentalism and it does not care what others think or feel or say, just like DAP, no more and no less," she wrote further.