Kelantan PAS is facing internal friction that may blossom into a crisis if the new Mentri Besar Nik Ahmad Yakcub does not ‘put off’ the shimmering flame.
Already protest was held this morning outside the Mentri Besar office because the party and state ‘strongman’ Husam Musa was not picked as exco member.
The foul smell of the friction began during the campaign period for the just concluded 13th general election when many PAS members in the state questioned why Husam was fielded for Putrajaya parliamentary seat when there were so many safe parliamentyary seats in the state for him.
While at the same time contested the Salor state seat where he had no time to campaign as his focus was on Putrajaya, another of Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s strongman Takiyuddin Hassan was fielded only for the Kota Baru parliamentary seat and no state seats.
Husam and Takiyuddin were former Mentri Besar Nik Aziz’s strongmen who were responsible in drafting and planning state laws and finances since 2004, when the party won by just a majority of three seats against Barisan Nasional (BN).
Both were said to be the strategists that strengthened PAS hold in the state where the party won 39 of the state seats, thrashing Barisan Nasional (BN) out of the state’s political map.
Husam especially, has been very close to Nik Aziz that everybody in the state thought he would be the ‘man’ to replace the ailing former Mentri Besar, despite Nik Ahmad being the deputy Mentri Besar the last three terms.
Being an Anwar Ibrahim’s close associate since their ABIM (Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia) days, Husam was said to have a hold on Nik Aziz to the extent that the latter took his advise on everything from state finances to the party’s relationship with other opposition parties – DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Husam was said to be loved by Nik Aziz and that the former Mentri Besar would want him to take over when he retires, which he did two days ago but being replaced by Nik Ahmad and not Husam.
Words within Kelantan PAS during the campaign period was that the internal friction which stemmed out of jealousy but more importantly the need to ‘correct’ the party’s path resulted in Husam being ‘sent’ on the purported mission of capturing Putrajaya while Takiyuddin has been listed to be a minister if the opposition pact wins the federal government.
However, these so-called ‘plan’ was just an eye-wash to have the two Nik Aziz’s loyalists to be out of the state so that the state is free of Anwar’s clutch or hold.
Kelantan PAS has been most of the time on its own with Nik Aziz leading and giving out edicts that at times contradicted or did not go along with the party’s stand on the whole.
Regarded as ulamak and head of the party’s spiritual wing, Nik Aziz has put his own thoughts or several issues that got the grassroots in Kelantan ‘a little worry’ as the fear of being under ‘outsider’s hold’ has eroded the party’s influence and support, not just in Kelantan but also in the whole of Peninsular.
Thus, when the new Mentri Besar took over, Nik Aziz’s loyalists were left out and the protest began today.
Some of the party grassroot members who declined to be named said they expect the friction would blossomed into a crisis and the split would see the ‘death’ of Nik Aziz’s hold and the probability that the new Mentri Besar becoming friendly to Kelantan Umno.
“The possibility is there but in politics anything can happen – Kelantan PAS may become friends to Umno in the name of Malay unity or go on its own and get back to fundamentalism – no longer controlled by the so-called Anwar’s friends.
“It depends on the development in this few days, on how the new Mentri Besar handles the problem.
“We do not think there will be a crisis but one thing we do not, the friction will just not end until the coming party assembly and election where we can know the true feelings of party grassroots all over the country,” said a member.
Whatever the outcome is, Kelantan Umno is said to be trying to ‘friendly’ with the new state administration and Anwar and ‘his men’ in PAS may have their hands full of problems.