Malaysia’s rumour mill, which is at times more than 50% true, is saying that the opposition Islamic party, Party Islam Se-Malaysia or PAS has been sold to the highest bidder.
Needless to say, the bidder is the main Malay party in the ruling coalition in Malaysia headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Sketchy details of the deal are pouring out, slowly, with Kelantan Amanah adviser Husam Musa – a former firebrand PAS member – accusing the PAS of receiving RM90 million from UMNO.
Husam claimed the money was channelled through Affin Bank.
Husam, in one of his lectures on video, that is going viral on social media, had claimed the RM90 million from Umno was exposed by Sarawak Report.
PAS said it will be initiating legal action against Kelantan Amanah adviser Husam Musa and has vehemently denied the allegations, calling it a malicious slander.
The Malaysian social media circles are abuzz with the hefty sum that was paid for the loyalty of the PAS to the United Malays National Organisation, the UMNO.
Sarawak Report, the advocacy online portal that practically broke the 1MDB stories on a local and international scale, said in one of their blog post that the PAS received RM90 million from UMNO.
It did not say clearly what UMNO expected in return from the PAS, but the internet world is currently going crazy over the PAS move to ‘sue’ Sarawak Report.
Or rather, the PAS slow pace in getting into real action against the Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown who has since then clarified that the claim that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had wooed PAS with RM90 million was merely a “widespread suspicion”.
This after PAS cried foul over the allegation.
Netizens are asking whether it is true or not that PAS received the hefty sum, and whether the ‘sell out’ if any, has prompted the Islamist party to render its support to the UMNO?
Some netizens are pointing out that PAS members were now driving expensive vehicles, and they were seen more than often with UMNO leaders.
While others are pointing out the PAS move to push for the Hudud to be implemented in Kelantan, which has since then become a central government matter in Malaysia.
The Parliament could have simply dismissed the application by PAS leader Hadi Awang for a debate and a vote on the Islamic Laws to be implemented in Kelantan, but it did not.
Instead, it allowed the private motion to move into higher stages, only to be taken charge by the government since last year.
Najib had pledged at the Umno general assembly last year that the federal government would take up the Bill following discussions with the Islamist PAS.
This has caused a ruckus among Barisan Nasional (BN) partners in coalition with UMNO, but delays in pushing for the bill into law = which will need the Parliament to vote indeed – has upstaged the debate and the focus is now turned against the PAS.
The PAS failure to sue Sarawak Report has earned the party the badge of ‘ridicule’ with netizens saying RM90 million to sell an opposition party is too little.
Others are claiming it is a flagrant moral and un-Islamic move, but the PAS is adamant that it is not a UMNO partner or supporter but it is on a mission to transform Malaysia into an ‘Islamic’ state.
Abdul Hadi Awang has blamed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad over what he claimed was the weakening of Islamic political power.
Hadi pointed out that this was despite the country comprising 65 percent of Muslims while non-Muslims only made up 35 percent.
Hadi claims Mahathir’s rule has undermined Islam in the country, and it is time for both PAS and UMNO to work together to fix the problem.
With all the brouhaha, and PAS getting hit in the flanks by netizens,
one question remain: Will the PAS sue Sarawak Report?
Not suing the portal is so far seen as a tactic taken by the PAS from Najib’s own political playbook.
That threatens to sue, as the Malaysian Prime Minister threatened to sue the Wall Street Journal over its extensive reports on the money that was ‘allegedly’ transferred from the 1MDB accounts into Najib’s AmBank private account.
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