Sunday, April 15, 2007

PAS To Field Non-Muslims, More Women In General Election. Will This Election Ploy Work?

PAS will field non-Muslims and more women candidates, especially in Kelantan, in the next general election, deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa said.

He said the party would put up a balanced mix of candidates comprising professionals and those of religious background.

"We will also have more women candidates but this will depend on nominations from the grassroots," he told Bernama today.

On fielding non-Muslims under PAS banner, Nasharudin said: "Personally, I don't think it is a problem, but it depends on the party leadership."

He said the party constitution would have to be amended to provide for non-Muslims to contest as PAS candidates but it would require only minor amendments. (Bernama)

***** So is PAS finally bowing to reality or is it merely a strategic retreat? Sort of a secular lull before the religious storm? Any party, even that which is based on the best of religious intentions, once it descends into the dirty world of politics, is not exempt from the underhanded and devious machinations governing its existence and progress. In the process of its relentless march to power much of the earlier held 'sacrosanct' ideals and rhetoric, however 'divinely inspired', may have to make way for compromises, even if they be unpleasant or demeaning. For that is the world of realpolitik.

Having said that, as for PAS, I personally feel that while it may make some cosmetic concessions here and there, in the long run it will hold steadfast to its hitherto strongly held belief in an Islamic state. Any changes or modifications to that basic, bedrock principle would require an entirely new generation of leaders, groomed differently and schooled in places far removed from the present leadership. Theoretically it is possible that the next group of pemimpin may be markedly different. But then again anything is theoretically possible.

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