After 20 years under PAS rule Kelantan is still underdeveloped and lagging behind other states.What has PAS or Nik Aziz, for that matter, done for Kelantan that made the Kelantanese so subservient to this wily old man at the expense of losing out to progress and development? Should the Kelantanese continue supporting this man who put more emphasis on the afterlife than the well-being of his subjects.
Islam is a religion that orders its followers to be part and parcel of a working and productive society.The Prophet Muhammad himself, who is considered a paragon of virtues in Islam, used to pray seeking God’s refuge from laziness or idleness.In his instructions to Muslims on this aspect, the Prophet Muhammad strikes a balance between worship and work.
For two decades Kelantan under PAS which should put equal amount of effort in work as in worship is still lagging behind other states.
In term of social and economic terms Kelantan is a far cry from the rest of the nation.Should the Kelantanese continue to wallow in their parochial pride and forsake progress and development?
There are many qualified and capable leaders in PAS but have not been able to come out to the forefront as a show of respect to the Tok Guru, who is revered by most Kelantanese.The recent disagreement about the unity talk between PAS and UMNO where Tok Guru prevailed in his objection is an example of his popularity in Kelantan.
It is a matter of time that the unity talk would be raised again by those who feel the Malays are losing grip of their political power after the 8 March General Elections and the continued onslaught by DAP and PKR to capture Putrajaya had made some leaders in PAS uncomfortable.With Malays divided between PAS and UMNO the biggest worry is PAS might end up playing second or third fiddle in Pakatan if they won the next general elections.
Since after March 2008 Kelantan has become a bastion for PAS.The BN was almost completely routed here.It has lost 4 out of 5 by-elections in other states.BN biggest let down was when it lost the Kuala Trengganu parliamentary seat to PAS which it won in the March 2008 elections.
Manik Urai will be a testing ground for the BN whether it can regain a better and bigger foothold in Kelantan. In 2004 elections when Malaysians were euphoric about Abdullah new and untested leadership Kelantan almost fell to the BN.PAS won by 1 seat majority.
In the March 2008 Manik Urai state seat PAS candidate Ismail Yaakob polled 5746 votes against UMNO candidate Mohamed Zulkifli Omar who got 4394 votes.PAS won by majority of 1352 votes.
UMNO has a good chance of narrowing the majority gap or even wrestle the seat from PAS if they work hard enough.Most of their losses in past by-elections were due to loss of confidence,demoralisation, bad planning and poor strategy.
UMNO has a good chance of pulling the rug from under the feet if they can put their act together. Being the accused it should adopt defensive campaigning rather than going on the attack.
With the right strategy and with Najib's popularity on the rise, Manik Urai might pull a surprise.