Thursday, May 30, 2013

After GE13 Bluster, PAS’ Stubbornness Could Prove Self Destructive

It already seems clear that certain figures within Pakatan Rakyat are casting off the shackles of the failing coalition in an effort to further their own political ambitions. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his near-universally derided campaign of illegal street rallies is perhaps the most obvious of the lot.
But increasingly it is not just individuals, but whole swathes of the Opposition that are breaking away from the norms of past years, further weakening its fragile structure. PAS for example look ever more remote from their coalition partners.

Lofty figures in the only PAS-held state this week derided Anwar's attempts at causing chaos, saying they were "detrimental to the nation".

"We in Kelantan have never discussed whether it is necessary for us to gather like in other countries," explained Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, drawing a comparison with Anwar's antics to the 'Malaysian Spring' the he has long hungered for.

"For PAS, it is better, regardless for what purpose, that it be done in accordance with democracy."
The Deputy MB was the latest in a long list of names by whom the PKR 'Advisor' has been deserted by in recent weeks, as more pragmatic members of the Opposition seek to distance themselves from his tactics.
But PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat went to great lengths to reiterate that the party's move away from Anwar did not mean they would try to get closer to Barisan Nasional and Umno.

"I would not allow it, for as long as I am still alive, I would not permit any effort for cooperation between PAS and Umno," he said, amid rumours that the party would somehow cooperate with the Federal Government as part of the national reconciliation drive.

"No one can organise efforts for cooperation between PAS and Umno, much less do it quietly..."
This puts PAS in something of a quandary. Ahead of GE13, the Islamist party put on a display of bravado over how it was seeking to become the 'dominant force' within Pakatan Rakyat.

Far from the landslide it had boasted of prior to May 5, PAS in fact lost 2 federal seats, along with the Malay heartland in the form of Kedah, failing also to make any inroads into East Malaysia.

The Islamist party meets next week for its 57th Annual Conference, where its direction for the coming year will be decided. For anyone with a passing interest in the future of Pakatan Rakyat, it will be well worth paying attention to the headlines that emerge from Gombak.

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