PETALING JAYA, Feb 8 — PAS seems to feel it will best its performance in all previous general elections this time round. In fact, its confidence is bordering on arrogance, a trait that is frowned upon and prohibited in Islam.
The Islamist party has been going around saying that it will contest more than 130 parliamentary seats at the upcoming 14th general elections (GE14) and is confident of winning more than 40 seats.
PAS now sees itself as the “king maker” in the event of a hung parliament or if the winning party needs more support.
The party, now led by fundamentalist Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, has purged most if not all liberals from the party and feels ready to take on the biggest role in championing the Islamic cause.
Following the passing of hudud laws in the state assembly — a move which many Muslims all over the country praised and supported — PAS feels like it has the majority support of the community and Abdul Hadi began to “walk tall.”
After its fall-out with DAP, the loose Opposition coalition of Pakatan Rakyat of which PAS was a member fell apart.
Going it alone in GE14, PAS seems to have taken it for granted that it has won the hearts and minds of all Malay fundamentalists.
The party seems to be in sync with ruling Umno, the backbone of Barisan Nasional (BN), on several Islamic issues but until today has yet to openly make a stand on whether they will work together or go separate ways in the coming general election.
Abdul Hadi, who in a way is quite shrewd when it comes to strategising the party’s next move, has succeeded in creating either hidden fear among the Opposition parties that depend on Malay votes to get by or hatred to the extent of ignoring its existence.
PAS in reality is acting as a spoiler to PKR and Amanah as it is the only party in the Opposition bloc that has the reach to rural Malays and its election machinery matches that of Umno’s.
It has hundreds of popular and known speakers for ceramahs and thousands of volunteers who do not ask for money for their work.
The party can actually put a dent in PKR and Amanah in seats where Malay voters count but the party itself will not win in those seats as it has insufficient support.
Given such a situation, like it or not, PAS is actually a party that can sway the result to whichever party that is truly desperate and this is where the Islamist party “walks tall” and sounds arrogant.