The Star has been going to town with Pas president Hadi Awang’s purported ambition to become Prime Minister. So I contacted Pas central working committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad to find out what was happening.

Listen from 50:45

It is not difficult to understand why The Star is playing this up. The MCA paper obviously wants to unnerve those who might be concerned about Pas leading a new federal government.

Dzul sizes up what Hadi really meant. “I was there when he touched on the subject,” says Dzul, “and I was listening carefully to every word he said.

“When Hadi welcomed the proposal by the ulama wing chief, he was talking in jest in a cynical way. ‘Syiok juga sepintas lalu (A fleeting thrill),’ he said.

“But he immediately added, what he asks for is for Islam to be victorious, and then he would be ready to die.(‘Tetapi saya kata di sini, saya minta Tuhan jadikan cita-cita saya ini biar menangkan Islam, kemudian kalau nak mati, matilah.’)

Dzul says Hadi followed this statement with an anecdote about the perils of being overly ambitious and counting (fish) eggs before they are hatched.

Apparently Kedah MB Azizan had invited Hadi for a fishing trip when the Pas president visited Kedah. Before they heading out to sea in Yan, Azizan asked his family to prepare spices for his favourite fish recipe. But as it turned out, the catch was dismal, and all those premature fantasies of a sumptuous fish feast was just idle talk. (Kind of reminds you of the ambitions of the three Gerakan candidates for Penang Chief Minister ahead of the 2008 general election, doesn’t it?)

Immediately before touching on the PM proposal, Hadi had stressed the importance of making proper preparations for the coming election.

The excerpt of Hadi’s speech in Malay:

Kita kena hadapi pilihan raya dengan yakin, ikhlas dan ilmu dan bijak.

Saya alu-alukan nak lantik saya jadi perdana menteri. Syok juga sepintas lalu. Tetapi saya kata di sini, saya minta Tuhan jadikan cita-cita saya ini biar menangkan Islam, kemudian kalau nak mati, matilah.

Saya tak mahu macam cerita saya dengan Ustaz Azizan. Ustaz Azizan tahu saya minat memancing. Saya pergi Kedah, dia ajak saya memancing di laut Yan.

Sebelum pergi, dia berpaling ke anak buah dia, dia kata, tumbuk rempah siap-siap. Nak masak ikan tenggiri, ikan jenahak. Saya pun pergilah, dia pun pergi juga ke laut. Bila balik, boleh ikan belukang sebesar kelinking je. Ustaz Azizah ingat tak peristiwa itu? Saya tak mahu jadi macam tu lah. Belum apa-apa dah tumbuk rempah.

Kita kena belajar dengan Nabi SAW. Bila Nabi nak berhijrah ke Madinah, Nabi berjumpa dengan pemimpin-pemimpin kabilah yang bersedia menawarkan negeri dan penduduk mereka untuk menegakkan Islam. Allah menjanjikan kemenangan.

Nabi jumpa satu-satu kabilah ini. Masa jumpa kabilah Bani Amir, Nabi tawar Islam, Allah janjikan kemenangan, boleh tegakkan negara bila berjaya. Tiba-tiba pemimpin mereka bertanya, “Kalau menang siapa jadi raja, jadi ketua, jadi menteri” lalu Nabi jawab, “Kemenangan itu bagi Allah, Allah beri kepada siapa yang Dia kehendaki” Itu jawapan Nabi.

Jadi kita PAS ni kena ajar begitulah. Itulah caranya.

Earlier, on 18 November, Harakahdaily had reported:

Nov 18: PAS president Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang said vying for positions should be the last thing on the minds of those who struggle for Islam. Responding to some delegates who argued that Hadi should be the prime minister should Pakatan Rakyat win the next election, he brushed it aside saying it was not part of his wish list.

Hadi reiterated that the focus now was for PAS and Pakatan Rakyat to occupy the Federal seat after the 13th general election, and not who should be the prime minister.

“As someone trained in the Islamic mould, I cannot ask to be a leader, leadership is a huge trust and a big responsibility.

“What is important is that we step into Putrajaya. The prime minister will be from among those who qualify, who can unite and uphold justice to the people,” he said.

Hadi again expressed his intention to return to his life as fisherman. “At least, I can teach (Islam) to people,” he said…