Bridge-builder Abdul Rahman Kasim says most Pas members will not look favourably on any move by the party to cooperate with Umno.
The Tasik Gelugor Pas information chief said the problem is that a few conservative voices in the party have given the impression that Pas was ready to ditch its allies in Pakatan.
These sensational voices are given prominence in the traditional media and social media. They are further amplified by Umno supporters in the social media and traditional media they control, giving the impression that Pas is on the verge of breaking its pact with Pakatan.
At this stage, it may be useful to recall that during the massive Bersih and anti-ISA rallies over the last half a dozen years, large sections of the protesters comprised Pas members including Pas Unit Amal frontliners, who faced the brunt of an often heavy-handed police response.
Certain DAP and PKR politicians may be unhappy with the conflicting signals over whether Pas backs Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim. That is fair enough. But leaders of all three parties should also consider the grassroots Pas members’ antipathy towards Umno as well.
The conservative voices within Pas may not necessarily represent the views of these rank-and-file Pas members. For example, the ustaz of Alagappa curry powder ‘fame’, Shahul Hamid M P H Seeni, is only an inactive Pas member, who is believed to be sympathetic to former Penang Pas youth leader Hafiz Nordin, a controversial figure in Penang, laments Rahman.
But now the ustaz’s insensitive words have gone viral on social media with the MIC quick to jump into the fray to deliver a rebuke (in a bid to prove that the party is still relevant as the ‘defender’ of the Indian Malaysian community?). Shahul has since apologised:
“According to my estimation, only about 15 per cent of Pas members, at the maximum, would favour cooperation with Umno,” said Rahman, who however cautioned that this was just his impression and not the result of any professional survey.