PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is still recovering from his heart ailment. Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) wishes him well.

But there is a limit to one’s indulgence.

By thanking the three agent provocateurs in the Nothing to Hide 2 event, Hadi has shown truth does not matter, only politics do.

And nothing is cruder than encouraging a bunch of kids, allegedly paid with a measly RM50, to lob slippers and chairs in the direction of an elderly man whose towering achievements include the promotion of Islamic banking, International Islamic University Malaysia and global peace.

One can either keep quiet in face of massive mismanagement, corruption and malfeasance in Malaysia or took to forming an unholy alliance with Prime Minister Najib Razak to be the “kingmaker” of Malaysian politics.

As his PAS colleague Mahfuz Omar, the MP of Pokok Sena, rightfully declared: “No one goes into politics to be kingmaker, unless one is tempted to it by greed.”

PAS, under Hadi’s leadership, has metastasized into a pseudo-religious entity, where parliamentary perks and privileges talk, all else walks. Islam merely becomes merchandise or tool to peddle their political interests rather than the sublime Maqasid Shariah of protecting and preserving religion (deen), life (nafs), intellect (aqal), lineage (nasab) and mal (property).

I still remember during one of my privileged discussions with Hadi in the company of two other towering personalities late last year at Kuala Lumpur Hilton. I asked him a very frank question, why on earth PAS would work with Umno given all the atrocities committed by its leaders in creating so much hardship to the rakyat.

Indeed, why on earth PAS would want to work with, and save, the scandal-ridden Umno? Hadi’s answer was shocking.

“We are cooperating with Umno to ‘merungkai’ (dismantle) Umno,” Hadi said with a wry smile.

Seriously I don’t know how to react to it except that I said you are more a “politician than a ustaz (a religious teacher)”. I went back that day very scared, knowing PAS is more a political party than a religious outfit that it so hard tries to portray through cosmetics like skullcaps and green jubahs. Those, I realise, are just props to reassure their almost cult-like following.

Of course, there are many in the PAS grassroots and even in their current leadership who despises Umno and what it stands for. But so long the five ‘tembikais’ (Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, Nik Abduh Nik Aziz, Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki, Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi and Khairuddin Aman Razali At-Takiri) who circumambulate and ring fence Hadi, are around, nothing can be done by them. Not even the affable good guy Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, PAS deputy president.

Quranic verses

In fact, one should wonder why Hadi latched on the Memali narratives so quickly without even knowing fully well what happened at the Nothing to Hide 2 event? Doesn’t Islam preach seeking the truth? Has Hadi forgotten the Quranic verse that clearly states:

“Believers, if a troublemaker brings you news, check it first, in case you wrong others unwittingly and later regret what you have done, and be aware that it is God’s Messenger who is among you: in many matters you would certainly suffer if he were to follow your wishes. God has endeared faith to you and made it beautiful to your hearts; He has made disbelief, mischief, and disobedience hateful to you. It is people like this who are rightly guided through God’s favour and blessing: God is all knowing and all wise.” (Quran 49:6-8)

Has Hadi forgotten that Allah SWT further commanded in the Holy Quran:

“You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly – if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do.” (Quran 4:135)

Yet, Hadi affirmed that the boys did good by raising hell in the Nothing to Hide 2 forum. Would that be the way to bring up our children?

In fact, Mahathir and Bersatu could have pressed charges against all three boys now in remand. But, in Islam, forgiveness is key, as is truth and justice.

Mahathir and Bersatu know, without a shadow of the doubt, that the boys were manipulated. Even one of the parents of these boys who have been remanded said their boy was asking about “Armada” (Bersatu Youth). They don’t even know what Armada is!

Given the chance to study in a good public school – assuming the money is not squandered in 1MDB and hotel buying sprees of Felda FGV – all three kids would have made it to a university. And members of Bersatu would be proud to attend their graduation ceremony. This is how we turn the life of the young and rebellious into productive members of the society.

Now they are remanded, and more are to be remanded as we see the stories and investigations unfolding.

But yet Hadi has decided what really happened there, came out with his edict as usual like the infamous ‘Amanat Hadi’ calling all Umno members ‘kafirs’, which created more harm than good like families divorced and separated, boycotts of each other, two imams in the same mosque for the same prayers essentially splitting the Muslim ummah. As always, an arsenal of Quranic verses and hadiths were used to justify his ‘amanat’.

Not forgetting the ‘baih’ (oath of allegiance) that PAS compelled its parliamentarians and state assemblymen to sign on that forced them to divorce their wife irrevocably (three ‘talaks’) if they leave PAS to other party or parties.

Instead of doing the right thing, Hadi, took to expressing his gratitude on behalf of PAS. To what ends? To mislead the boys into sheer deviance? If the parents of these boys had seen what they did at the town hall meeting, provoking and taunting the guests and attacking a 92-year-old towering figure like Mahathir, they would have asked the ground to swallow them up.

In self-defence

The peppery questions at the forum had no context, no substance, but sheer notoriety to elicit a negative response. On Memali incident, one has forgotten how Ibrahim Libya claimed to be invincible and goaded his followers to brandish knives and other weapons against the police. He even used women and children as his front line defence.

Faced with the deranged supporters of Ibrahim Libya in Memali, Kedah, the police acted in self-defence to protect their troops.

One must further remember that it was Hadi, who prior to the Memali incident in 1984, encouraged members of PAS to condone the act of ‘takfir’ (the act of calling all and sundry ‘kafirs’ or non-believers, as long as they were not members of PAS).

Is Hadi willing to answer to ‘takfir’ which he had launched and hoisted on Umno in 1980s before the late Yusof Haji Rawa, Fadzil Noor and Nik Aziz Nik Mat took the party back to its senses? Had the three esteemed leaders of PAS not led the party in the direction of moderation and self-restraint, the rot of PAS which we see now, would have begun in 1980s, not now.

In all, Hadi has lost all semblance of diplomatic tact. Rather than urging the boys and the families to whip their behaviour into shape, he took to asking them to bay for blood.

What Hadi did is the equivalent of Umayyad caliphate first act. Instead of holding his son Yazid back, Khalifah Muawiyah endorsed Yazid’s abrasive and self-indulgent behaviour. When Yazid was the caliph, that first thing he did was to kill the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad SAAS, Husayn ibn Ali in the mid-7th century AD.

Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad SAAS declares: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAAS) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then (let him change it) with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim)

In other words, at least pray for his or her well-being. Hadi failed in all three. This alone speaks volume of Hadi’s true character.

Not surprisingly, Najib has followed suit with his deafening silence, with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi a close behind by referring to Mahathir as “orang sudah lama,” as if Zahid himself is not aware of how much he has aged.

It must be said though there was only one minister who spoke against the violence and ruckus created by the agent provocateurs, surprisingly Khairy Jamaluddin. Perhaps, there is still some hope in Khairy. He just has to come out of his play-safe mode and enter rakyat- and the nation-first mode.

RAIS HUSSIN is a supreme council member of Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). He also heads the Policy and Strategy Bureau of Bersatu.