Thursday, 11 September 2014

#Pengkalan Kubor By-Election: PAS Now Makes The 'Kubor Move'.......!!!

There's a new catchline on the political scene, an extension of the failed Kajang Move that led to the equally disastrous plot by the PKR to change the Selangor Mentri Besar. It is the Kubor Move, arising from PKR’s surrender of the Pengkalan Kubor state seat in Kelantan to PAS. Some observers see it as a magnanimous gesture by PKR President Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the centre of the ongoing controversy in Selangor that had caused fractures in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition. They also see it as an apparent bid by Dr Wan Azizah to mend fences with PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang, who rejected her candidacy for the MB’s post. However, some PAS insiders say the PKR have come to terms with the fact that Dr Wan Azizah’s party cannot win the state by-election on Sept 25 if it puts up its own candidate. She is said to fear her party will not get the backing from PAS campaigners, as both parties had been at loggerheads over the right to contest in the seat since it became vacant last month. It had been seen in most cases where the PKR had won electoral seats; the victories had come with the massive support of the PAS election machinery. The prospects of the PKR failing in Pengkalan Kubor was believed to have been discussed at a discreet meeting, which prompted Dr Wan Azizah to say her party was giving the seat back to PAS. Notwithstanding this, the prospects of PAS wresting Pengkalan Kubor from the Barisan Nasional is not going to be an easy task, considering that several leaders had broken ranks with Abdul Hadi as well as with the elders in the syura and ulama councils. Moreover, PAS had lost its clutches on the seat in the 2004 general elections, which had since been held by incumbent Noor Zahidi Omar till his death on Aug 10. The assemblyman was suffering from lung cancer and died while receiving treatment in China. He was said to be a popular people’s representative and his term saw the opening of a Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) branch campus and projects to alleviate the flooding problem, among others. So, he has left a legacy that voters in Pengakalan Kubor are expected to translate into votes for the Barisan. In the meantime, PAS has to also grapple with an internal feud that started in Selangor when two state assemblymen went against their elders to side with the DAP and PKR to endorse Dr Wan Azizah’s candidacy. Saari Sungip (Hulu Kelang) and Hasnul Baharuddin (Morib) were considered heroes by their PKR and DAP counterparts but the PAS syura and ulama councils regard them as rebels. At the same time, the PKR, DAP and the two rogue PAS men lobbied for the Mentri Besar’s post for Dr Wan Azizah and told the palace there is not going to be another nominee from them. Things began to happen fast, with a faction promoting an off-shoot party called PASMA and Abdul Hadi telling those who no longer supports the core party to buzz off!. Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, not amused by the stance taken by the PKR and DAP, ordered all three parties to give more than two names to the palace by Sept 2. And, only PAS followed the Ruler’s decree. There was no turning back for Mat Sabu, Saari and Hasnul, who refused to support a list of three nominees for the MB’s post from their own party. The Sultan rejected Dr Wan Azizah as the sole nominee and said it was now left to him to screen all eligible prospects from among the Pakatan assemblymen for the post. Some observers read this as a possibility that Khalid Ibrahim would be retained by the Sultan, at least until the Menteri Besar presents the state budget in November. Now, Anwar and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng had to also go begging for forgiveness from the Sultan for making him angry that his orders were defied. From the outset, Khalid had rejected the idea of forcing a by-election for no reason other than to meet Anwar’s private agenda. For Hadi, whose tolerance had hit breaking point, he can choose to lead PAS out of the Pakatan coalition or let the Anwaris group to decide whether they still want to be in the party or to leave and stay out for good. But there is no point of Hadi blaming the PKR or the DAP for the turmoil in his own party. The cause of the PAS internal problem started with the Hulu Kelang and Morib assemblymen turning against their own party. Now, the country looks at the direction the Kubor Move will take; a situation that could break or re-make PAS.

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