I was wrong predicting a Barisan Nasional (BN) victory in the past election, but I was not wrong about Pakatan rejecting PAS.
While I said,Pakatan can win without PAS, if they are clear about their value proposition and work on the ground long enough as separate from the Islamist, I was not convinced either of those conditions were met, adequately.
Which is why I thought BN would edge ahead in a three way.
I was exceedingly wrong about it, the people of Malaysia proved that they already had enough reasons to reject BN and at the same time able to distinguish between a vote for Pakatan and PAS.
In my own constituency, Hulu Langat, two time MP Che Rosli Che Mat (PAS) lost to Amanah’s newbie Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus.
But I am not wrong about PAS, they are toxic.
When I say this, it is not about the larger PAS membership. They are by large good folk who like their faith and feel the path forward is by supporting a religion based party.
Which is why at the grassroots level, lower echelon of the party get along splendidly with other Pakatan activists.
The leadership however is something else. They are in their own moon-vehicle hovering around in a vacuum of their own disinterest.
As evidence by the latest gem from vice president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, who said in short, PAS will lounge around till Pakatan resolve all the debt issues engulfing the nation and then they will take over at 15th general election, presumably in 2022.
That’s the party, PAS. Bereft of professionals and public policy mantle, they only seek to be in power in order to justify society. Meaning, if they are in power, then the people are in the right path. Almost a wicked logic where they think the greatest benefit anyone will receive from PAS is the honour of being under proper Islamists.
Economic planning, social engineering, jobs creation, autonomy for states and municipalities, structuring public schools, leveraging technology in classrooms and intellectual rigour, well those, those are just jargon to them.
They’d leave planning and development to those less religious to sort out, they’ll do the more important bits, like be symbols of goodness.
But while all the jokes can be made about the party, it pulled two million votes in the last election, pulled about one in three Muslim votes in the nation.
They are a political threat to anyone in government, even if they are not substantive.
While there is pity for Kelantan and Terengganu as they are submerged in the weight of righteousness of PAS, with no economic plan for the people, there is every reason to fear they may still pull in the vote regardless of how they perform.
This is why they remain a threat to Malaysian democracy. Because if they win, they’d not wait too long to end democracy. Fair to say, the first general election PAS win, may be the last foreseeable free election in the country.