The new look Pas has given many Malaysians reason to hope that a more inclusive brand of politics is possible.

This is a piece I wrote for Asia Times:

Once viewed as a promoter of fundamentalist Islam in politics, the times are changing for Malaysia’s opposition PAS party. For the first time since 1983, party delegates last weekend elected a candidate who is not an ulama, or religious leader, as its deputy president and with him a slew of other progressive politicians into the party’s top leadership positions.

It’s the clearest sign yet that PAS intends to broaden its electoral appeal ahead of what many anticipate will be a hotly contested general election later this year or next. With PAS’s new leadership, many political analysts believe the party’s goals and strategies, including a shift from promoting the creation of an Islamic state to a welfare state, will take on more populist themes in a strategic bid to expand its political base.

Full story in Asia Times

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21 COMMENTS

  1. IF PAS is more ‘centrist’, its because they have not forgotten what it means to be Malay. You may actually say they re-discovered what Malay means. People forget that Islam arrived in this shores nearly over 900 years ago and yet the Malays until Mahathir came along, practised a form of Islam whose appearance does not even look like anything from the Arab states.

    The Malays were open people, that accepted people and ideas from everywhere, before and after Islam came. What PAS is doing is consistent with who the Malays are, in fact is what Malays are who don’t get trapped into pre-conceived ideas of what works for them, even a religion.

  2. Fish prices soar high because fishermen without diesel subsidy don’t want to go out fishing ! Rakyat didahulukan when fis become scarce ???

    Early this year, the Govt awarded contracts worth Rm6bil to build only 6 patrol boats!! Which means that each patrol boat costs Rm1b or approximately USD 300m each. We are talking about patrol boats, not frigates, battleships or even aircraft carrier for that matter.

    Try googling the cost of patrol boats, the cost varies from as low as USD20m to USD180m. In other words, Malaysian made patrol boats are world’s most expensive!!

    This where your savings in petrol subsidies go to!!

    • Don’t know why. I just voting UMNO everytime there is election. Be it state, parliament or by-election.

      • gerkhin, may be everytime you check your bank account you get high & hence hooked up to barang naik mastermind ? It’s like a drug and you need to seek therapist ???

  3. Inflation is high and a lot of people are feeling the pinch and living from hands to mouth, without any form of luxuries to look forward to.. Just words cannot feed the people. Unfortunately, the government is blind anf deaf to the needs of the people and continued to be unaccountable and not transparent in their way of governance. Simply leave if BN cannot fulfilled the wishes and needs of the people.

  4. Umno’s real support base consist of

    (1) elderly kampung folks,
    (2) illiterates,
    (3) ignorant natives,
    (4) some wavering indians,
    (5) new bumiputras under projek IC…, and
    (6) umnoputras.

    Categories (1), (2) & (3) are shrinking in number and there is nothing umno could do.

    Category (4) is not dependable for support because of their wavering nature, and their unclear and therefore unpredictable political leaning.

    Categoy (6) is made up of a minute number of umno members. They are really the inner inner circle of umno – a group of super elite, the fastcar owners with horse riding kids and jet setting wives who having ran out of ideas decided to form the obedient wives club for added pleasures in life. These people control the power and wealth of the country (and abuse them as well). They are not willing to see any swelling in their numbers, for obvious reasons.

    So realistically umno can only bank on category (5); on those new bumiputras under projek ic … But really, loyalty of these people is unpredictable. They may vote umno once or twice. Come the third (their third) GE, they too are likely to decide base on issues and policies. Under umno all issues and policies are unfavourable to the people. So this is dire for umno.

    This being the case we can expect … gerrymander like crazy, abuse the election process and secure utmost co-operation of the EC to its maximum advantage. That is why umno is so opposed to bersih’s proposed rally this july.

    Umno’s attempt to augment its support base via perkasa and utusan is not working well at all. They were viewed with ridicule and disbelief.

    So umno, the direction ahead for you really is downhill and sunset.

  5. Yes marvellous – if only they would champion the cause of a truly secular Constitution and the replacement of Article 3 with something that prohibits discrimination against a person on grounds of their metaphysical outlook (there is no compulsion in Islam, I often read), I might even support them myself!

  6. For too long under Racist Mahathir the Good people of Malaysia have been divided -PAS new leadership offers hope esp to minorities non muslims a new Malaysia where Racism,Injustice and Corruption will not be tolerated in our Society.
    Any party that advocate the end of ISA , end of deaths in polis custody , end of racism ,discrimination in public & civil service jobs ,end in Judiciary interference and a stop in Corruption will win the support of the Rakyat.
    Hidup Pas !

  7. What say you – Mat Sabu to stand in Bukit Bintang, Wangsa Maju or Kelana Jaya in PRU 13?

    He will definitely get my vote!

    PAS for All.

  8. Yes just like Gerakan LKY who say Mahathir Islamic state is different, CSai will spin and say PAS welfare state is an Islamic one

    • We all know very well that Umno is becoming irrelevant because of its cronyism, rampant corruption and failure to uphold justice and meritocracy. Its blantant use of Perkasa and Utusan to advance its racial line has irked many moderate Malaysians.

      PAS is gaining acceptance across all races and we have witnessed that people in Kelantan nd Kedah do not suffer at all under PAS rule, as so-claimed by the mainstream media.

      Undi PAS. Tak Nak Umno!

  9. … UMNO BN using some of the most deceitful methods such as the sodomy case, enticing MP to leave PR, sex, portraying PAS as extreme and Islamic, sex video, racial and religious politiking, using Perkasa & Utusan to spread true lies & half truth, money politicking etc etc, THEY HAVE FAILED MISERABLY..

    PR are now united more than ever moving forward in a clearer and bolder steps with – PAS taking a more moderate stance, DAP prestige at its highest and PKR still steadily holding the fort despite the enormous pressure to crack their party and their leaders.

    PR are now in control with UMNO & BN MIC, MCA, Gerakan and their coalition in desperation. They will soon go the way of the dodo. We must now kick out this UMNO Najib together with their weaklings.

    TO ACHIEVE THAT WE MUST ALL DO OUR PART AT THE NEXT GE

    • The UMNO/BN Warlords, the cronyism, the race based patronage, the injustices, the marginalisation and the money politics which started 22 years ago has now become cancerous within its own ruling BN Govt.

      For too long have we tolerated those in power siphoning monies for their own personal gain, all in the name of ‘Bumiputera rights’. Equality and meritocracy are not, as some assume, foreign concepts to these warlords. Rather, they knowingly bleed the country dry at their own people’s expense, the people whose ‘rights’ they are seemingly championing.

      That’s why PAS will be accepted by non-malays in our country for the sake of our future.

  10. Hi everyone,

    Yes, PAS’s goal of creating a “benevolent state” (negara kebajikan), not only as preached in Islam, is very universal and inclusive of all races and religions.

    The mass media terming of a “welfare state”, with intent or otherwise, is clearly not accurate as it invokes a feeling of handouts by the State! UMNO’s welfare state is only enriching the elites and their cronies – obviously UMNO practises its welfare state for the UMNOputras and their cronies, not for the welfare of the poor, including not for the welfare of their ‘poorer’ Malay brethrens!

    The rise of PAS in its inclusiveness and its moving to the middle ground through its “benevolent state” stand is most welcome as it now challenges UMNO’s current moving towards radicalism, bordering on extremism, to the extent that it is dividing the people by using race and religion, obviously showing that UMNO’s call of “1Malaysia” is mere rhetorics! UMNO’s constant and consistent harping on race and religion is with intent to divide-and-rule, a policy that they have crudely ‘refined’ from the colonial ‘teaching’ Most important is that the latest muktamar gives Malaysians much hope that a 2-party system is becoming more and more entrenched!

    Congrats. to PAS, its members and leaders, who really made Malaysians proud that they conducted themselves with dignity as shown in their latest muktamar!

  11. Japan is know as the land of the rising sun. The rising sun for PAS is hope and able to confront new challenges….this once conservative political party is prepared to make changes to yester year policies and emerge as leader of tomorrow with bold approaches to cater for the needs of a multi- racial Malaysia.
    A change for a win, win outcome….unlike the racist parties in the BN coalition who are unwilling or unable to make changes because of corruptions and their survival is based on deception. The rakyat deserve better.
    Time for change, time to remove the racist … and evil … occuping Putrajaya. Let sunny days return to Malaysia.

    • BN Government leaders refuse to accept that many Malaysians are going through very difficult times trying to make ends meet. The cost of living has gone up very much these last few years and, especially since the government had decided to reduce subsidies on essential items. To the BN Leaders a car is a luxury. But, to the ordinary citizen it is necessity. This explains the rationale for BN govt. to impose high duties on cars and at the same time increase the cost of petrol. They need the money for Mega Projects so that they and their proxies and cronies make billions at the expense of the rakyat. There is no accountabilty, transparency, integrity and love for the nation. All they love and crave for is $$$. If any of them says they are there to serve the rakyat it is A BIG FAT LIE. Rakyat must use their vote wisely in the GE13 and rid the country of these vultures! If we fail to do this we will be doomed and even Allah may not save us.

      That’s why PAS is an option to replace BN!

  12. Apa new look ???

    Isi dalam Pas dari dulu hingga sekarang tak pernah berubah. Mereka hanya ada satu agenda, iaitu Islamic State agenda.

    Jangan promosi Pas jika tak faham apa dia Islamic State agenda.

    • Gerakan K’s has poor grasp of current state of affairs in Msia.

      Kebajikan untuk semua rakyat yang pertolongan dan bukan untuk mereka yang tertentu sahaja !

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