Thursday, May 28, 2009

Husam perincikan mengapa beliau bertanding has the story:

Husam want PAS to replace Umno, not complement it

It's no secret that PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa is no fan of the Dewan Ulama (the party's religious scholars' wing). And they, not surprisingly, have been one of his strongest critics.

Husam and another vice-president Mohamad Sabu are challenging two-term deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, who is favoured by the pro-Umno faction, made up of largely ulama in the party.

There have been veiled accusations levelled by the head of the Dewan Ulama against Husam of bribing party members in order to get nominations for the deputy presidency.

And just last weekend the Dewan Ulama organised a seminar, at the old party headquarters in Gombak, with the aim of strengthening the leadership of the religious scholars in the party.

A photo exhibition on the history of PAS was also held and newspaper reports on the takeover of the party by the ulama in 1982 were displayed prominently.

Husam, however, prides himself on being part of the wave that led to the removal of the Malay nationalist PAS president Datuk Asri Muda.

"I joined PAS on the day Datuk Asri stepped down in 1982, I was still a second-year student at Universiti Malaya," said Husam.

"As a student I did not favour Datuk Asri, because he was more Melayu than Islam, which limits growth. It only divides the Malays between PAS and Umno, but you cannot get support from the rest," he added.

He attended the party’s muktamar that year at the invitation of a Kelantan ulama, Mustafa Taib.

"Now the ulama is in Umno, but I am still in PAS," he said with a broad smile.

"That was also the year Anwar Ibrahim joined Umno. If I am called pro-Anwar, that is not fair to me, if I am I would have followed Anwar in 1982," Husam told The Malaysian Insider.

The Kelantan executive councillor has been called pro-Anwar by his critics due to his support of the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

He is still motivated by the same thing that led him to contest PAS’s No. 2 — making the party the biggest political force and to replace Umno.

"The incumbent No. 2 seems to have close ties with Umno leaders and he seems not focused on making our party the anchor party," he said.

"I want to put a stop to activities destructive to the idea of PAS replacing Umno," added Husam.

"I feel my time in the party is wasted if the party only wants to complement Umno," he said.

Husam said since the official announcement on Monday he has been getting a lot of text messages supporting his decision to contest.

"I think on the ground there is some of dissatisfaction with what is going on, but PAS members are disciplined, so most of the time they hide their feelings, but they have their own assessment of what is going on," he said.

He also said he was not worried that the wide publicity given to his candidacy would backfire — as PAS members are known to reject candidates who are too eager to contest.

"If I remain quiet, it is not fair to the members... they need to know my objectives," said Husam.

"I hope PAS members understand why I am contesting," he added.

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