SEREMBAN ― The dominance of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man as president and deputy president gives a clear signal of the continuous solid support of the grassroots towards the leadership of the ulama (religious faction), according to any analyst .
Abdul Hadi, who is also Marang Member of Parliament, and Tuan Ibrahim were declared winners of the top two posts in the party for the 2017-2019 term by party secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan on Tuesday, after there where no challengers when nominations closed the same day.
The announcement made Abdul Hadi the only PAS leader to dominate the presidency for the past 15 years compared to the previous presidents, namely, Dr Burhanuddin Mohd Noor (third president), Tan Sri Mohd Asri Muda (fourth president) and Datuk Fadzil Mohd Noor (sixth president) who only held the post for 13 years.
Meanwhile, Tuan Ibrahim created his own personal record in retaining the deputy president’s post for the second term compared to Nasharudin Mat Isa and Mohamad Sabu, who served one term each.
A political analyst was of the opinion that the Abdul Hadi and Tuan Ibrahim partnership was the best in PAS due to the absence of other leaders who could shoulder the duties of the two top posts, to date.
Associate professor Mohd Izani Mohd Zain from Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Human Ecology Faculty, nevertheless, said retaining Abdul Hadi and Tuan Ibrahim was believed to be aimed at avoiding disunity which could affect PAS’ efforts in the next general election.
The grassroot believes the two leaders are capable of boosting PAS further which is now alone without a political pact. So, their selections are aimed at strengthening and avoiding internal break-ups when the party is making preparations for the 14th General Election.
They (grassroot) don’t want to take the risk of changing the leadership, what more after several of their leaders left to form a new party. This time they still prioritise the leadership of the ulama, he told Bernama here today.
The National Professors’ Council (MPN) associate fellow also did not rule out the triumph of Abdul Hadi was related to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 (Act 355) Bill which was tabled in parliament recently.
It could be because the grassroot is of the opinion that by retaining Abdul Hadi, RUU355 will continue to be pursued and voiced out, he added.
RUU355 seeks to impose harsher punishments for Shariah offences.