‘Shura has no right to ban PAS members from joining PasMa’

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KUALA LUMPUR: Pro-Pakatan Rakyat non-governmental organisation, PasMa, has questioned the PAS Shura Council’s right to ban party members from joining it, saying that such a decision can only be made by the PAS central committee.

PasMa president Datuk Phahrolrazi Mohd Zawawi said the Shura Council has no right to make an “executive” decision on the ban.

Instead, the council should have channelled its concerns to the central committee, said Zawawi, as “only the central committee has the right to make party decisions”.

“The central committee is the executive body that has been entrusted by the party,” said Phahrolrazi, the deputy chief of PAS Kedah.

His riposte comes a day after the council, considered the party’s highest decision-making body, banned members from participating in the group, which is made up of PAS leaders and activists.

According to Shura Council secretary Nik Zawawi Salleh the ban is in line with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s reminder during his speech at the end of the party’s general assembly last month in Johor.

In a rare emotional speech, Hadi had issued a stern warning against deepening factionalism in PAS or what he termed as “a jemaah [congregation] within jemaah, a party within a party”.

Hadi had even said that the party could only have “one imam and one jemaah” and those who want to start their own “jemaah” had better leave the party.

Differences between PAS’ conservatives and progressives widened over the Selangor menteri besar impasse and erupted at the general assembly where both sides criticised each other publicly.

PasMa came to prominence during the Selangor MB crisis and became a sounding board for leaders and members upset with the party’s conservatives.

Phahrolrazi said as PasMa is an NGO and not a political party, there is nothing wrong with party members taking part in its activities.

He said PasMa holds awareness programmes meant to foster an open-minded society where diverse and divergent views could be debated and explored.

Phahrolrazi said that PasMa worked to strengthen Pakatan Rakyat after some of the coalition’s leaders had strained relations between its component parties, PAS, PKR and DAP. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 14, 2014.