Saturday 4 June 2011

Mat Sabu is PAS new deputy president

PAS grassroots leader Mohamad Sabu has won the PAS deputy post in the Islamic party's most hotly-contested polls to date.

opposition boycott by-election 110107 mohamad sabuIn a surprise victory, Mohamad ousted two ulama (religious scholars) candidates in the election - the three-term incumbent Nasharudin Mat Isa and a last-minute challenge from Pahang PAS commissioner Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
According to election committee chairperson Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman, Mohamad bagged 420 votes against Tuan Ibrahim, 399 and Nasharudin, 224.
Mohamad, who has succeeded in his second go at the number two position, is the first non-ulama to hold the post for two decades.

husam musa bangsar 080408 leftMeanwhile, it is learnt that Husam Musa (right), another non-ulama, has made an astounding comeback by winning one of the three vice-president's posts.
The other two winners are incumbents Salahuddin Ayub and Mahfuz Omar, both of whom are also non-ulama.
It appeared that PAS delegates have opted to reach out to a wider audience by electing all the non-ulama.
Salahuddin is the highest vote-getter in the vice-president contest with 753 votes, followed by Mahfuz, 616 and Husam, 660.
The losers in the six-way contest are Idris Ahmad, 491, Mohd Amar Abdullah, 321, and Nizar Jamaluddin, 217.
NONEHusam, a senior member of the Kelantan state cabinet, had previously held the vice-president's post, but failed in the polls three years ago in his bid for deputy presidency.
Husam is considered close to PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Aziz and is seen as a progressive voice in the party.
In immediate reaction, party's deputy spiritual leader Haron Din said that he was not disappointed with the lack of representation from the ulama ranks.

"The delegates are teaming an ulama president with a professional deputy and this is a new approach," he said.
The victor and the vanquished
Mohamad, the new No 2, is fast-talking and a crowd puller at ceramahs who rose up the ranks from the very grassroots movement, lending him hard-earned street credibility.

NONEThe Penangite, however, does not have a religious background and his success in bagging number two may indicate a rejuvenation in PAS, as well as a boost to its image as an accommodative and open party.

Well-received by supporters of DAP and PKR alike, Mat Sabu or Abang Mat as he is fondly referred to, is expected to forge stronger ties between the Islamic party and its Pakatan Rakyat partners.
Yesterday, Mohamad was spotted outside the muktamar venue amid a flock of youngsters all eager to snap a photo with him on their mobile phones.

His youth appeal is expected to draw a younger and more diverse lot of supporters to PAS.
NONEOnce considered to be progressive, Nasharudin (left) has apparently failed to use his long tenure as deputy president to his advantage raising questions over whether he has the mettle to deal with issues confronting PAS.

This could be a concern for the Islamic party as it goes into an anticipated stiffly-contested general election.

The former International Islamic University Malaysia lecturer rose through the ranks of PAS at lightning speed and was a high performing secretary general before elected onto the number two spot in 2007, to much surprise.
The other loser, Tuan Ibrahim, is said to be a candidate representing the ulama faction, which is uneasy with Sabu's ascendancy.

NONEAlthough relatively unknown at national level politics, Tuan Ibrahim (right) is almost a celebrity in the religious scholar circles and is now spearheading PAS anti-slander campaign in response to the sex video said to be of a man resembling PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The nephew of PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Tuan Ibrahim religious background and his good relations with Anwar will help him balance party and Pakatan Rakyat interests, as PAS grows to take a more significant role in national politics.

He had previously held the post of vice president.
All three VPs are non-ulama
NONEJoining the new leadership team under president Abdul Hadi Awang, who won uncontested, are winners of a crowded vice-president race - all of whom are non-ulama.

Mahfuz (right), who has retained his post, is widely believed to be the running mate of Mohamad.
Like Mohamad, the Pokok Sena MP, rose through the ranks from the grassroots and is popular with both PAS members and Pakatan Rakyat supporters alike.

Meanwhile, Salahudin, who has successfuly defended his post, is a double-term Kubang Krian MP and is seen to be a diplomatic leader who has managed to appease different factions of the party, sometimes appearing sympathetic to the unity government call.

NONEThose who failed to make the cut in the vice-president race included Nizar Jamaluddin (left), an engineer by training who gained superstar status in the bid to defend his position as menteri besar in the Perak coup.
Nizar, who came in last, is possibly the most popular PAS leader among the Chinese community, second only to Nik Aziz.

Also defeated in the six-way contest are two ulama - information chief Idris Ahmad, and another member of Kelantan executive council Mohd Amar Abdullah.
Nizar appeared contented with the results, saying that the delegates have made the "perfect choice".

"PAS is united," he said.
Erdogans control party's central committee
It appears that victory by the professionals over the ulama also included the party's powerful central committee.
The results showed the professionals, also known as the Erdogans, won the majority of the 18 seats.
PAS new central committee - those widely considered as Erdogans in bold
Mazlan Aliman, 884 votes
Dr Hatta Ramli, 765
Kamarudin Jaffar, 739
Hanipa Maidin, 735
Azizan Abdul Razak (Kedah MB), 721
Dzulkefly Ahmad, 702
Mujahid Rawa, 651
Khalid Samad, 643
Ghani Shamsuddin, 579
Amiruddin Hamzah, 576
Abdul Wahid Endut, 556
Abu Bakar Chik, 527
Mohd Amar Abdullah, 470
Mahfodz Mohamed, 449
Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, 445
Hassan Mohamed Ali, 437
Abdul Ghani Abdul Rahman, 430
Nuridah Salleh, 416

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