Call to review political cooperation with Pakatan likely to heat up PAS muktamar

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(September 18): PAS deputy spiritual leader Datuk Haron Din's proposal yesterday that the Islamist party review its political cooperation with Pakatan Rakyat is set to become a heated topic during PAS's 60th muktamar, which starts today.

Past annual meetings have seen PAS approve motions to remain within the coalition, but Haron's call for a review may see the Islamist party take a different turn.

Commenting on this, PAS lawyer Fitri Asmuni wrote in a Facebook post that the party must be seen as much stronger than it currently is if it wishes to leave Pakatan Rakyat.

In the Dewan Ulama meeting yesterday, Haron had urged the conservative PAS Ulama wing to examine whether its ties with Pakatan Rakyat had infringed the party’s criteria for political cooperation, or tahaluf siyasah.

This led the ulama gathering yesterday to approve a motion to set up a committee to study the pact's cooperation.

The motion was similar to the resolution made by the Multaqa Ulama on September 14 last year in Alor Setar, which had also requested that the political cooperation? be examined.

The motion reads:

"To propose to the Syura Council and PAS Central Committee to establish a committee to study, examine and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, success and failure of the political cooperation in Pakatan Rakyat since its formation, in terms of the good and the bad according to Islamic laws, with the intention and purpose of improving and strengthening Pakatan Rakyat for the 14th general election."

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang ?in his closing speech at the 2012 PAS Muktamar in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, had called for Pakatan Rakyat to be strengthened.

Hadi had said PAS would continue to remain in the opposition coalition as the Islamist party could not survive? alone in Malaysia, given the multiracial society that exists in the country.

He pointed out that Umno, too, could not rule the country alone in such a society.

"We are ruling in a multi-ethnic society. Through Pakatan Rakyat, we have succeeded in creating resolutions in the past three conventions," he said in his speech at the 2012 Muktamar.