Barking up the wrong tree: Instead of PAS, Kit Siang should advise UMNO to replace its president

PAS is very thankful to the congratulatory message by DAP adviser Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang following the great success of the PAS-Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar in defeating the Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Harapan (BN-PH) candidate in the recent Kemaman parliamentary by-election.

Such a polite gesture is very welcome and can contribute to the cultivation of a more mature and cordial political culture that is positive for the country. This has indeed been PAS’s stance for a long time.

However, the question he tried to raise about Tan Sri Hadi Awang’s position as PAS president and the possibility of Dr Samsuri replacing TS Hadi to enable PAS “to become a more moderate and open party … and to reject hate speech, fraud, slander and fake news” is nevertheless misguided and has no merit at all.

Firstly, PAS not only has no problem with TS Hadi’s leadership and that his position as party president has never been challenged – except once – but even then, he has received full support from members and delegates at every PAS annual general assembly.

The achievements of PAS under the leadership of TS Hadi are the best when compared to the previous era. PAS is now the largest single party with the most number of seats in the Parliament, controls the administration of four states and has representatives in all state legislatures in Peninsula Malaysia.

Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan

Secondly, Kit Siang is not the most qualified person to talk about moderation and an open attitude – both because of his past history as a politician – and his current position as an adviser to a party that is still very thick with racist and chauvinistic rhetoric.

PAS believes that if Kit Siang feels entitled to raise questions about the change in leadership of parties other than DAP, then it would be more accurate and beneficial if he advises the ally parties in the unity government, especially UMNO, which is clearly losing support among its own members, not to mention the general public.

This situation should be of more concern to Kit Siang especially when the UMNO leadership is also involved in major criminal cases that were opposed by DAP itself not long ago. It is certain that DAP cannot let go, remains silent or claims not to be involved in the developments that are related to the situation and collusion.

As a veteran politician, Kit Siang of course should not overlook the fact that in the Kemaman by-election, the BN-PH (Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Harapan) coalition lost about 20,000 votes that they won in the previous 15th General Election (GE15).

This trend is very clear in all the by-elections held after GE15, whether in Terengganu, Johor or Pahang.

Therefore, it would be more beneficial if Kit Siang focused on PH-BN’s own internal problems as well as the issue of the loss of support and popularity experienced by Putrajaya instead of continuing to play petty, hypocritical, hyperbole and speculative politics that will not help to create a society and country that is better, honest and democratic.

Thank you. – Dec 5, 2023


Kota Bahru MP Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan is PAS secretary-general and the Opposition chief whip.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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