PETALING JAYA: PAS’s U-turn in the Selangor Menteri Besar issue will widen a split already existing in the party, a political analyst believes.
Prof Ahmad Atory Hussein of University Sains Malaysia told FMT he was certain that some activists in PAS were disappointed that the party had allowed itself to be sidelined by PKR and DAP.
“Now is the best time for PAS to rethink its position” in Pakatan Rakyat, he said, adding that the party should not hesitate to leave the coalition if it felt that it was being treated like a “passenger” instead of an equal partner.
He said PAS should learn from the episode that reaching a consensus with different parties on certain issues was not an easy task.
Last Sunday, the PAS Central Leadership Committee went against a decision of the party’s Syura Council by backing the move to oust Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. The committee nominated PKR President Wan Azizah Ismail and her deputy, Azmin Ali, as candidates for the Menteri Besar’s post. A few hours later, however, PAS gave in to PKR and DAP and agreed to Wan Azizah’s sole candidacy.
Ahmad Atory said certain sections of the PAS membership were bound to see the U-turn as a sign of weakness in the leadership and question why it is too willing to “appease certain quarters”.
“PAS needs to justify its position,” he said. “Otherwise it will lose people’s confidence forever.”
Asked what he thought were Barisan Nasional’s chances of winning should a fresh election be called in Selangor, Ahmad Atory said he considered the state a Pakatan stronghold, making it difficult for BN to return to power.
“If the state assembly has to be dissolved to make way for a fresh election, I think Pakatan will have the upper hand,” he said.