KUALA LUMPUR: A PAS Ulama Council spokesman admitted on Tuesday that the party’s plan to cooperate with Umno in Selangor was foiled after two of its assemblymen openly declared support for Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s candidacy for the menteri besar’s (MB) post.
The Ulama information chief, Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, in a Facebook posting on Tuesday, said the duo’s move resulted in Selangor MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim technically losing his right to remain as MB, as the majority of the assemblymen were no longer with him.
“PKR and DAP only had the support of 28 assemblymen, but the figure rose to 30 after the two PAS members threw their support behind Wan Azizah.
“Technically, Khalid only had the support of 26 assemblymen, including 13 from PAS and 12 from Umno. So he could not be maintained as the menteri besar in this situation.
“This is why the PAS central committee, in its meeting, decided to send two names as the MB candidate to replace Khalid,” he wrote.
PAS’s Hulu Kelang state assemblyman Saari Sungib and Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baharuddin signed the statutory declaration affirming their support for Dr Wan Azizah’s candidacy as Selangor MB.
In his Facebook post on Tuesday titled, “Ke mana PAS mahu dibawa” (Where PAS wants to be led), Khairuddin said the actions of the two assemblymen had tested the patience of party members who had followed procedures in the Ulama Council’s meeting based on the teachings of Islam.
He said the duo had clearly violated the council’s decision at its meeting on Aug 6 to retain Khalid as Selangor MB as long as allegations against him for breach of trust were unproven.
“What was annoying is that there were several leaders from the central PAS working committee who openly stated their support for them (Saari and Hasnul).
“Even worse, there were some among these PAS central leaders who thought of the two men as heroes because they acted to save Pakatan Rakyat,” Khairuddin said.
He blamed the two assemblymen for setting a wrong example to other PAS members, adding that some filed complaints and motions against them calling for action to be taken.
Khairuddin claimed there were several leaders who had openly supported the duo “working behind the scenes” and “backstabbing the president”.
Even more shocking, Khairuddin said, were claims that Saari and Hasnul had been directed and given the green light to support Dr Wan Azizah by leaders in the central committee.
“This is very serious,” he said.
Khairuddin also claimed that a senior party leader was trying to distract party members from the Selangor MB crisis by raising issues about a PAS-Umno collaboration.
“Apparently, there are certain institutions in PAS that Umno is trying to control. What kind of slander is this?” he said, in an apparent reference to PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa.
Husam claimed on Tuesday that he knew of a planned effort by some in Umno aligned to its deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to bring their agenda into PAS, so that “PAS will march according to their tune”.
Khairuddin, in his posting, also attacked several top PAS leaders who said that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s support for Khalid as MB prior to the central leadership meeting was his personal opinion.
“It is not surprising that they have said this. When in fact, the president had already stressed as a PAS decision in January that the Selangor MB position would not arise although PKR initiated the ‘Kajang Move’,” he added.
After PKR announced Dr Wan Azizah as its MB candidate, Hadi had said that PAS would continue to support Khalid.
Following that, at least two PAS leaders, its deputy president Mohamad Sabu and information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar, said it was Hadi’s “personal opinion”.
The PAS central committee met on Aug 17 when it decided to nominate Dr Wan Azizah and PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali for the MB’s position.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 4, 2014.