OCT 26 — Let me clear the air first — I’d think Nik Aziz and me would probably agree on most things, even if our reasons would vary considerably. However I do not support his inclinations to force a situation in PAS, as far as it downplays the democratic principles the party — for that fact any party, group or association — must adhere to.
I do believe religious parties are in themselves a contradiction to democratic principles, but if PAS wants — as the signs show — to flirt with being a Islamic based party contrary to an Islamic party, then it has to reduce arbitrariness in decision making.
There is a reason why his men fell in the last PAS election, and why the Malay-driven wing of the party has the base it has. It is not just the leaders, they have substantial following.
Perhaps what would help the party would be open debate, and not those convoluted “advice, words of calm and subtle persuasion in quiet moments” prescription.
Hassan Ali is a pretty nasty fellow if you ask me, but so are the many who support him, including one in Sepang I am more than familiar with. They do believe the party is a Malay party which is more Islamic than Umno, which does not abrogate their Malay focus.
So why disagree with Tok Guru?
Because the long term future of PAS as a democratic party, not a party of clerics run by implied religiosity would be through the grounding of democratic principles.
There has to be an open debate in the party about values, not just the selection of new leaders and the ejection of old ones.
People will leave the party, but this duality PAS has been playing with has gone on for decades, so if the chicken come home to roost, they just have to live with it.
I agree with Nik Aziz most often because I believe he has a strong moral compass. It may have been derived from his religious education, it may have been his modest upbringing, it may be his years in leadership. That is immaterial.
He abhors unfairness, and that is probably why he can’t see eye to eye with Umno — they believe fairness is decided on how it seems after the manipulation of factors.
His Kantian certitude is welcome and positive for the country.
However his party needs more than new leaders, it needs a decision on a longstanding issue — is it a Muslim party or a Malay party. No more can it eat its cake and have it too.