For whatever its worth (34)
The Islamic Party of Malaysia or PAS has just ended its Annual General Meeting the 53rd one for a party formed prior to Merdeka.
The most interesting event this time round would surely be its party polls, most political parties in Malaysia have postponed their party elections, reason being, to concentrate on the impending 12th General Elections. Thus Umno and MCA officially shelved their party polls, surprisingly even the so called Democratic party i.e DAP postponed theirs!
In the opposition ranks the PKR was not deterred and went on with their party polls late last month followed by PAS through its recently concluded Mukatamar.
The trend to postpone party polls obviously originated from Umno, for not wanting to be bugged by money politics that has heavily corrupted the party, Umno would prefer to go to the national polls first and then face the music before their party delegates. Going to the party polls first would certainly wreck the party as has happened before, so the current lineup would rather avoid recurrence of such incidence and therefore proposed the postponement. In a way they could also capitalize by planting their man and dropping the rest that are not aligned to them.
PAS on the other hand prefer to proof that they are strong and equipped to not only face the national elections but also its party polls. Surely being a democratic party, an open contest could not be avoided, PAS this time saw strong contest for all positions in the party except that of the President.
But unlike party polls in Umno, there were no incidence of vote buying in PAS, candidates do not throw lavish parties or kenduris as these acts are clearly prohibited not only by the party more so by the religion. Perhaps there were mild campaigning’s here and there but these were nothing compared to Umnos tradition!
Now the party as well PKR has managed to elect their new office bearers, both parties are intact and the next move would be to consolidate and face the 12th General Elections. One thing for sure both components of the Alternative Front (BA) has proven that they not only preach but practice and uphold democracy, and that democracy and freedom of choice is well and alive in both parties. Unfortunately those who claim to uphold democracy do not even allow their members to practice it within their own party.