Saturday, 15 August 2009

Hoping for PAS- With fingers crossed ...

In The Peole's Parliament,( Great, now assure the rest of us, PAS) Haris states that Zaid apparently told him in a phone conversation, “Haris, things will only get better. I’ll stake my life on this” .....
Well, I'll take that with a pinch of salt, belacan, budu, tempoyak or whatever - going by the track record of PAS so far, I think Zaid is betting against some heavy odds.

Umno, over the last 30 years under Mahathir, has evolved into a brain-dead organization - which would naturally become extremist in nature. Yes - Umno is EXTREMIST!! They are RACISTS!! They are grabbing at any issue that can "propel them with an image of being willing to go to extreme lengths to get what they want - and MCA finances them through it all.
Never mind that the word in town is that there are among Umno leadership who love "nightlife, butt-groping and single malt" - they have jumped the bandwagon of Islamism and sharpened their Islamist rhetoric.

It knows that PAS has become the darling of the masses with their moderation of late through TG Nik Aziz (Hadi is a different story lah ...), and a viable alternative to Umno - and they also know that PAS's simple-mindedness is Pakatan's achilles heel. "Islam" is definitely PAS's strength, but the simpletons who adopt "Islamism" as a political tool, is at once, also their weakness - and the problem is, they don't see the difference. Many within PAS (and without, too), still believe that being "Talibanesque" is being more Islamic.

Quite some time back (in 2007, I think) I had written that the problem with PAS's politics, is the fact that they have no moral convictions despite all their high-flung Islamist rhetoric. Their focus is often on the "clothes/cloak" of Islam, rather than the heart of it. They wouldn't blink an eye when they betray their voters when it comes to "Islamist" agendas. They are quick to fall victim to Umno's needling on Islamic matters (on the simplistic matters of "image" and not faith), and Umno knows this. Time and again they have successfully sent PAS into retreat just playing on emotions and the image factor - and many of the PAS ulamas are so incompetent, that they cannot debate with them on how Islam can be perfectly compatible with a secular state that upholds Islamic "VALUES" and principles, without depending on medieval laws and edicts to guide them.
Today, besides evoking anger among Muslims/ Malays and seeking to drive a wedge between Malaysians, Umno has gone on the offensive by attacking PAS's Islamic system/understanding - and they play up matters that strike the imaginations of the simple folk.
The Umno Youth under Khairy Jamalludin has gone out to town saying that a vote for PAS is a vote for DAP, and that “Maybe one day pork will be sold openly in Shah Alam” - and these simplistic arguments are bound to get the PAS fellas shrinking in their jubahs, with them rushing out to look at scriptures throwing common sense to the wind.

It remains to be seen if PAS can rise to the challenge and recalibrate their definition of Islamic values and principles which make life in a plural society a pleasure instead of an ordeal. So, I'm not so sure about Zaid's bet- not until he can say that Pakatan Rakyat is a formal coalition which adopts the People's Declaration as its blueprint, and abide by it - especially where our PAS and PKR jihadis (like Hasan Ali, Zul Nordin and Nasharidin) are concerned.
Meanwhile, I'll just keep my fingers crossed ....

The "Secular" Controversy
The PAS factor - A Viable Alternative?
The PAS "Cooperation" and Vote.