#The Writest Thing* A very hard question for PAS

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Last Updated: 9:28am, May 05, 2014

IRONIC isn't it? Exactly a year to the day after PAS together with its allies in Pakatan Rakyat had won the most number of popular votes at GE 13, the Islamic party  will have to decide if  it wants to remain with the DAP and PKR in the pact or leave.

Reason being hudud. No details needed on what has happened or what's happening as far as hudud goes. We all know the story by now.

And we also know that DAP's Anthony Loke had earlier told PAS to "leave" Pakatan if it insisted on going ahead with its hudud plan.

Reading between the lines, Loke could have very well meant "PAS can be a liability to Pakatan Rakyat if not already".

I would agree with Loke's "call" but not his "tone" though which many felt was "harsh".

I would say PAS leaving Pakatan (on its own accord and not forced by anybody) would or should be seen as the party's "ultimate" sacrifice for the opposition pact.

Leaving Pakatan would free or rid the DAP (especially the DAP) and PKR of all accusations hurled at them by the BN with regards to hudud.

We know what the accusations are.

Leaving Pakatan would free PAS itself to pursue its political aspiration. When I put forth this "option" to a former PAS activist this is what he had to say:

"Since PAS are the ones adamant in wanting hudud, it be good for them to do it alone. Umno does not want hudud".

PAS have all along "felt" Umno was never "keen" on hudud despite all the statements made by Umno leaders seen as "supportive" of the Islamic penal code .

Statements like "the need to study hudud first" and "Muslims in Malaysia not ready for hudud" were seen as Umno "stalling" as an outright rejection would very well see Umno being accused for "not Islamic" or worse "anti Islam". Needless to say that can bring about dire consequences as far as Malay Muslim votes are concerned.

And PAS see Umno's "willingness" to talk with them and get details of hudud a "trap".

Hence by leaving Pakatan Rakyat, PAS would be able to "call Umno's bluff" so to speak. And the party would then be free to face Umno one on one in the Malay heartlands.

But then PAS would need to ask themselves if the majority of Malay Muslims are "in favour" of hudud?

Umno,(even without hudud), on the other hand can be "relied" on to do "things" to boost its "Islamic credentials" (as they have done with regards to the Allah word and Bahasa Malaysia bibles issues as well as laws related to the propagation of religion).

PAS would be wise to look back at the results of previous elections whether hudud had brought in the support.

To DAP's Lim Kit Siang the overwhelming majority of Malaysians who voted for Pakatan Rakyat in GE13 did so for "change of government and political as well as nation building policies and not hudud".

"Pakatan Rakyat would not have continued to deny BN two thirds parliamentary majority if hudud was an agenda for Pakatan Rakyat in GE13", said Lim in a statement issued on the eve of the first anniversary of GE13.

To Lim, Malaysians want "Pakatan Rakyat to to grow from strength to strength to achieve political change of federal government in GE14.

But if hudud becomes major issue Pakatan Rakatan may go the way of the previous Barisan Alternatif".

Of course we know after GE13 and days leading to PAS last Muktamar certain quarters in the party had wanted the party to break away from Pakatan Rakyat to push aside what they see as "hindrance" and "obstacles" to be be "Islamic".

But quite a substantial number of PAS members were against such a move saying PAS had gained a lot by being with Pakatan Rakyat without  being "less Islamic". And the party leadership had pledged that PAS will always remain in Pakatan Rakyat.

Now with the hudud issue, in the words of Lim, "has descended on the country like a political tornado in a matter of weeks", PAS will have to take a hard look and think equally hard what their next step should be.

To leave or not to leave (Pakatan Rakyat). That is the question.

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