The fundamentalists in PAS are now putting down their foot with the act – refusal to act against Nasharuddin who the young liberals wanted out for quite sometime.
Nasharuddin has been a ‘pain in the ass’ for the liberals who are aligned to PKR de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim as Nasharuddin’s close association with Umno has ‘screwed up’ many plans Anwar has in trying to control PAS.
Despite the liberals success in getting rid of Nasharuddin in the leadership and replacing him with their ‘man’ who is Mohamad Sabu, the liberals have yet to get full support from party members nor the leadership.
The liberals now control the party supreme council seat with two-thirds but since PAS is an Islamic party where decision of the supreme council can be overturned by the Ulamak Council, the liberals have no choice but to live with whatever it is at present.
Nasharuddin is no ‘small timer’ as painted by the liberals and other leaders in the loose Pakatan Rakyat alliance when they got wind the Ulamak Council might not even discussed anything about Nasharuddin in Sunday night meeting.
Dissatisfied but they could not do anything because they ‘forgot’ that the Ulamak chairman Datuk Dr Haron Din is a fundamentalist and he knows Anwar from ABIM days.
And Dr Haron’s decision is reflective of party president Abdul Hadi Awang’s mind so to speak because they were together building up the party when it was alone in the 70s right up to early 90s.
In short, Nasharuddin’s position in the party is determined by the fundamentalists who are ‘suspicious’ of liberals’ motive and link with Anwar and who are still determined to set up an Islamic state if it wins Putrajaya.
And the liberals know they cannot do anything to Nasharuddin who is not undermining the unity of PAS but instead against the ‘unholy alliance’ between the party and DAP.
Besides the differences in political ideology and the causes each party champions for, Nasharuddin also does not trust Anwar, who was responsible for his defeat to Mat Sabu, and this everyone within and outside the party knows.
Given the current scenario, PAS is expected to have problems in determining its candidates’ list as the fundamentalists do not seemed to give way to the liberals in naming the candidates for the coming general election.
The fundamentalists this time around are no longer playing ‘the yes men’ as the Nasharuddin issue shows and this has given the liberals the worry.
Following this, PAS is heading for a showdown between the two groups and there is a possibility that the co-operation within PR may not work as smooth as expected.