PAS man quits party for DAP, says ‘more opportunities to shine’ there

The 30-year-old former chairman of student activist group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia said he had been a member of PAS for six years before deciding to call it quits and join the DAP on June 20. ― Picture courtesy of Sheikh Omar Ali
The 30-year-old former chairman of student activist group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia said he had been a member of PAS for six years before deciding to call it quits and join the DAP on June 20. ― Picture courtesy of Sheikh Omar Ali

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 ― Seeking to grow his political career, a young PAS member Sheikh Omar Ali has abandoned his party for the DAP ― a move that is likely to deepen the gulf between the two opposition allies.

The 30-year-old former chairman of student activist group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) said he had been a member of PAS for six years before deciding to call it quits and join the DAP on June 20.

“I feel that this is the right time for me to take a stand. It is not because I was disappointed in PAS but they are not moving forward. There is too much of internal conflicts,” he told Malay Mail Online today.

Johor-based Omar said he had previously worked with Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong and believed he could grow his political career by switching his party allegiance.

“I have much faith in DAP because they work hard. There is also more opportunities to shine as a youth in the party, as there exists a platform for us to grow,” he said.

However, Omar said he is still a part of Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa), a non-governmental organisation led by Kedah PAS man Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi that had started out as an internal pressure group within the Islamist party.

Omar’s entry into DAP follows the highly publicised membership of national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said last week.

The inclusion of the 80-year old former co-chair of electoral watchdog Bersih in the DAP comes even as the predominantly Chinese party seeks to increase its Malay membership in a bid to move towards a more multi-racial image.

DAP previously had fielded a young Malay woman, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, in the Teluk Intan by-election last year in a semi-urban seat in Perak that has a significant Chinese electorate.

Dyana Sofya, however, narrowly lost the election to Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong.

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