Husam Campaign Trail_0272Money politics in PAS? Almost impossible as PAS money is in the pocket of her supporters and not the leaders.

By Zubaidah Abu Bakar (NSTP)

THE leaders are astounded; party members refuse to believe it. 

But they are all searching for answers and want Pas to act quickly on the allegation that political corruption has reared its ugly head in the Islamic party. 

To them, action has to be taken against the offenders, if there are any, and the accusers should the allegation, which has tarnished the party’s image, be found to be baseless. 

Concern in the ranks is genuine as Pas and money politics in any form are incompatible. 

An Islamic movement that upholds Islamic principles and values like Pas cannot afford to see that kind of peccadillo creeping into its workings.

It then will become a case of the pot calling the kettle black as Pas leaders have for decades condemned Umno politicians for buying votes to win positions in the party. 

There will be many red faces if money politics has indeed infiltrated Pas. The Dewan Harian, or management committee, is to deliberate on the issue today. It has to, once and for all, clear the air after the allegation was made by none other than the controversial Dewan Ulama head, Datuk Mohamed Daud Iraqi. 

Party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is to chair the meeting, during which Daud, who is a committee member, is expected to furnish details of his allegation. 

The management committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss preparations for the muktamar that will take place in Shah Alam, Selangor, from June 3 to 7. Delegates will choose their leaders for the next three years on June 5.

Daud caused a stir when he said a candidate eyeing a position at next month’s party elections had offered material inducements to get support. 

He did not name anyone but many in the party believe his target was fellow Kelantan leader and party vice-president Datuk Husam Musa. 

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“He did not name anyone but many in the party believe his target was fellow Kelantan leader and party vice-president Datuk Husam Musa.” 

Husam has yet to declare whether he would contest the deputy president’s post but is widely believed to be capable of mounting a strong challenge to Nasharuddin Mat Isa for the party’s No. 2. 

Daud, who staunchly believes that only an ulama should hold the top two posts in Pas in line with the concept of kepimpinan ulama (leadership by ulama) which began in the early 1980s, is the one behind the ongoing debate on whether a non-ulama like Husam could become deputy president. 

“If he has evidence, we will forward the allegation to the disciplinary committee for action to be taken on all those involved, no matter who they are, whether at the division or highest level. We will not hesitate to take action,” Husam had said on Saturday in response to Daud’s allegation. 

Party watchers believe the allegation of money politics is designed to prevent a non-ulama from holding the deputy president’s post.

Except for Hadi, who won the presidency uncontested, the field is wide open for the next two most coveted positions in the party.

There are five nominations for deputy president and as many as 16 for the party’s three vice-presidents. 

Some party leaders may brush aside suggestions that Pas is now infected by the scourge it so badly wants to stay away from, claiming the party had never received any such reports to date. 

Politicians, however, are known to resort to underhand means to win or stay in power.

Since the allegation came from a respectable ulama, the question has been raised as to whether money politics has indeed made inroads in Pas. 

More alarming is the possibility that Daud’s allegation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Husam Campaign Trail_0249“Party watchers believe the allegation of money politics is designed to prevent a non-ulama from holding the deputy president’s post.”