Veteran PAS member Mustafa Ali chose to zip his lips following being dropped from the PAS central committee last Saturday.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said any positions held by Mustafa, including that of election director, will be taken over by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s political secretary Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.

Contacted on the developments, Mustafa, who joined PAS in the 1970s, quipped: “I’m sorry, but for the mean time, I am fasting, fasting from saying anything.”

The decision to remove him from the central committee raised eyebrows considering his long service, including as secretary-general.

He was PAS Youth chief in 1975 and was also treasurer, vice-president and Terengganu PAS commissioner.

He was also part of government, appointed deputy science, technology and environment minister in the Perikatan-PAS coalition government.

Political writer Mohd Sayuti Omar said Mustafa was dropped because he disagreed with increasingly warmer ties between PAS and Umno.

Sayuti said Mustafa hinted at his dissatisfaction in his winding-up speech at the 63rd general assembly, the muktamar, in Kedah on May 1.

In his speech, Mustafa recalled how Kelantan, a PAS stronghold, fell to BN in 1978 but was wrested back in 1990.

He also reminded PAS that the Islamist party has won and lost in elections because of its decision to work with other parties.

The examples may be reminiscent to PAS’ scenario today, where it has its own splinter party Parti Amanah Negara it is working against, while at the same time faced with a decision on whether to work with Umno splinter party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

‘Worked with Umno splinter party and won’

The following is an excerpt from his speech:

“I want to take some examples based on my experience. For example in Kelantan, our strongest fortress. What happened in Kelantan should teach us our strengths and weaknesses in other places. That is why experience is important when it comes to understanding which strategy will work or will not.

“We won in Kelantan in 1959 and governed for 18 years, until we were toppled in 1978 following the National Operations Council (Mageran) took over the state (following declaration of emergency).

“After we left the BN and in the midst of such chaos on the ground, there was a split within PAS and that crisis was called the Datuk Nasir crisis. It led some PAS members to leave and form Berjasa.

“And we have to look at how this splinter party of us is now working with our enemy, Umno and BN. Berjasa worked with Umno and BN. We had a deficit (of votes) and they (BN) gained (votes) and in the end, they defeated us in the 1978 general election.

“But the opposite happened in the 1990 general election. When there was fissure in Umno, a splinter party was formed and they worked with PAS.

“That was Semangat 46, which was led by Tengku Razaleigh (Hamzah), who worked with PAS. PAS’ votes went up with the support of this Umno splinter party. We had a value added to our strength.

“As a result, Umno and BN lost. We won with a landslide victory. Kelantan was one state which have zero seats to BN in 1990. The other states could not do the same.
“What this means is that we have defeated BN to the extent that they had no seats. That is one example.

“So the examples I gave underscores the importance of value added support. This is how support and strategy works together.

“In 1978, Umno strategy was to work with our splinter party (Berjasa) and it won. In 1990, we worked with an Umno splinter party and won.

“This means that crisis within a party weakens it, but this, too depends. What sort of scenario are we facing today?”

– M’kini