Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nasharudin wants ulamas to remain at helm of PAS

Nasharudin speaking at the opening of the PAS Youth assembly muktamar on June 1, 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
SHAH ALAM, June 2 — PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa has stressed that religious scholars or ulamas should continue leading the party as the faction will ensure that the Islamist party will remain strong and united.

He said the leadership of the party was fully responsible for the party’s machinery and affairs, adding that PAS was “fortunate” that it has been led and managed by the ulamas all this while.

“We are quite fortunate that with Allah’s will and the grace of fate, PAS is managed and run under the leadership of the ulamas and we pray that our Jama’ah continues to be blessed by Allah,” he said when opening the PAS Youth assembly muktamar here last night.

The Bachok MP issued a reminder to all PAS members to conduct themselves professionally and to not “allow any room” for any kind of allegations which may tarnish the image of the party.

Nasharudin, who is defending his deputy president’s post, has been aligned to the ulama faction within PAS, along with challenger Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

While party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan have been elected unopposed, the race is keen for the No. 2 post between Nasharudin, who is going for his third term as deputy president, and challengers Mohamed Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, and Pahang commissioner and vice-president Tuan Ibrahim.

It appears to be a tussle between the ulamas and the moderates, also called the Erdogans. The Erdogan faction was almost wiped out in the last party polls as those aligned to the faction did not win the posts.

But there has been speculation that division is rife even within the ulama faction, where Tuan Ibrahim is seen as the preferable candidate over the incumbent deputy president. Reports have stated that Nasharudin is facing pressure from within the party to withdraw from defending his post.

“There has been speculation to withdraw, but I have made it clear that I’m going to stand,” Nasharudin told a press conference late last night.

However, he refused to comment on whether the ulamas in the party wanted him out of the race.

“Voting is only on Friday, today is Wednesday, we’ll see how it turns out... I can’t pre-empt anything,” he added.

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