SHAH ALAM, 5 June 2009: PAS is ready for federal power, party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today.
“PAS is ready to offer itself to lead change, and bear the responsibility of national leadership in a mixed society such as Malaysia’s,” he said in his opening speech for the 55th PAS muktamar.
Stressing the importance of strengthening mutual understanding, friendship and working relationships within all levels of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR), he said: “This is so we can be ready for a bigger success in the coming 13th general election.
However, the PAS president, who kept his position uncontested in this year’s party elections, failed to present any concrete strategies towards achieving this end.
Hadi Awang delivering his speech at the muktamar
PR leaders such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, and PKR vice-president Mohamed Azmin Ali were present at the muktamar opening. Also present was former Umno veteran Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
“PAS is committed to defining the change that will happen based on the framework of a universal Islam,” Hadi said, explaining the muktamar’s theme, Islam Leads Change (Islam Memimpin Perubahan).
According to Hadi, the universal justice of Islam could be a guiding light capable of uniting humankind.
“In the decades of PAS’s existence, we have succeeded in tearing down the defensiveness of non-Muslims, who once felt awkward with PAS,” Hadi said.
He added that the growing number of votes the party secures was proof of growing support amongst non-Muslims.
PAS Supporters Club
Touching on changes in the Islamic party’s organisation, Hadi Awang proposed that the PAS Supporters Club be institutionalised as a wing within the party.
“This will be a historic step, in line with PAS’s new paradigm of leading a multiracial society,” Hadi said.
The place of the PAS Supporters Club has been a big question in the lead-up to this year’s muktamar, and its entry into the party structure will be decided on at an emergency PAS assembly later this year.
Most recently, the club was split into Indian and Chinese camps. Former PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said the separation was a trial to find the best mechanism for administering the club, in anticipation of its elevation into a wing.
In his speech, the party president also stressed the need to reach out to East Malaysia.
“PAS has to take aggressive steps to expand its wings to Sabah and Sarawak,” Hadi said, adding that party leaders would visit these states more often, and explain PAS’s intention to assist their multi-ethnic societies.
However, membership to the party would be conditional.
“While PAS is open to new ideas, all who become PAS members will have to be educated in the political principles that PAS is fighting for, as well as understand the culture and methods of the party,” Hadi said.
After his speech, Hadi launched e-Harakah, an online version of the party’s Malay-language newspaper Harakah.
He also launched PAS’s Complex Development Project, a 17-acre building complex in Sungai Merab, close to Putrajaya.
Also launched was the National Language Hero Award, which was awarded to National Laureate Datuk A Samad Said and Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) leader Datuk Dr Hassan Ahmad. Both participated in the 7 March anti-PPSMI march to the palace.