The analogy of the new and old PAS.How March 8 2008 marked the watershed of PAS changing its fundamental Islamic image and made a round about turn to become a liberal Islamic party. Is there such thing as liberal Islamic party?
We would not know until they take power at the federal level.
In the event Pakatan win the next general elections I foresee a Malay minority government because the Malay votes would be split three ways between UMNO,PAS and PKR with UMNO taking the bulk but failed to form the government because of total loss of non-Malay votes.
Do not rule out DAP leaving Pakatan to form coalition with UMNO, it may sound remote now, but it's a possibility.As they say, in politics there are no permanent enemies and friends.
The outcome of the 2008 General Elections put a feather in its hat and the manifestation of an extreme make over of the party, abandoning its fundamentalist image and forgetting its past polemics against UMNO's association with the infidels, the coalition with MCA, Gerakan and other non-Muslims party.
Let me take a section of what Farish Noor wrote over a year ago on the subject of the sudden change of heart by PAS after the stunning defeat of BN in 5 states and loss of its two-thirds majority.
Excrept from Farish Noor's article below.You can read his full article here.
"In the 1980s, some of us will remember that Pas was heavily engaged in a fiery war of words with its nemesis Umno. The Pas leaders then – notably Yusof Rawa, Hadi Awang and Mat Sabu – were at the forefront of attacking and condemning Umno leaders – notably (now Tun) Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim. It was during this period that Umno and Pas both jointly raised the political temperature in the country, leading to the controversial kafir-mengafir episode where both sides were accusing the other side of being hypocrites (munafik), secular and un-Islamic. This culminated in a number of bitter incidents such as the killing of Ustaz Ibrahim ‘Libya’ Mahmood at the village of Memali in 1985 and the controversy around the book ‘Hadis’ by Kassim Ahmad some years later.
Pas then had gone onto overdrive with its fiery polemics against Umno, and Hadi Awang's infamous proclamation that accused Pas’ opponents of being the enemies of Islam had done wonders to transform image of Pas into that of a violent and extremist party. At the 1986 elections, the result of this overheated rhetoric was obvious: Pas’ vote share dropped to 15.3 per cent and parliamentary seats to 0.6 per cent, winning only one seat.
Then, as now, Pas was trying to court non-Muslim support in Malaysia through the Pas Chinese Consultative Councils (CCCs), but to no avail. The Malaysian public demonstrated that they were not able and willing to tolerate the violent oppositional dialectics of Umno and Pas, but were more worried about Pas' language of jihad and kafirs.
Fast-forward to 2002 and we see a similar scenario in the off-ing. In the wake of Pas' victory at the elections of 1999, an over-confident Pas took it upon itself to once again play the role of the ‘defenders of Islam’. In 2002, Muslim writers, academics and NGOs (including Sisters in Islam) were once again attacked and accused of all manner of things. In the same year, Pas declared its support for the Taliban in the most blatant manner when Pas members demonstrated in front of the US embassy with posters and banners that read “Taliban are our brothers”.
Dr M: PAS manipulating Islam for political gain
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Islam and its followers have become victims of PAS leaders who are using religion as a weapon of political survival, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Although purportedly advocating the true Islam, he said PAS leaders were willing to change their minds and interpretation as it had always been their tendency in gaining the support of non-Muslims.
“We see how the so-called Islamic fighters are willing to change the interpretation of Islam for political gain, if they once used to say that those who cooperated with non-believers were infidels, but now they defended their cooperation with non-Muslims,” he said in an interview with Umno Online.
On the recitation of “doa” (prayer) for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng instead of the king during Friday sermons in Penang recently, Dr Mahathir said PAS had a way of justifying the action of the katib, preacher.
“They say it is not wrong as the doa was an effort to draw them to Islam and this is the beauty of Islam.
“If Islam is an obstacle in gaining the support of non-Muslims, they will digress a little.
“For example in pursuing the hudud law and the Islamic country, they cast it aside in order to gain the support of non-Muslims,” he added. — BernamaThe question? Can a leopard change its spot ?