Appointment of Shahidan, Annuar may cause unease among Pas members - Experts

01 Nov 2023 09:51am

SHAH ALAM - The appointment of Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Tan Sri Annuar Musa as Pas central committee may cause unease among party members.

Universiti Teknologi Mara Administrative Science and Policy Studies Faculty Political Science Senior Lecturer Mujibu Abd Muis, the appointment of these two Umno political figures might not have a significant impact on current politics and could even trigger unfavourable reaction.

"Perhaps some Pas members may feel that they are more deserving of a place in the committee because they have been fighting alongside the party for a long time.

"Besides, the appointment may also pressure Pas and the former Umno veterans to give their best performance," he told Sinar.

Recently, Pas secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said that the appointment of these positions was proposed and approved based on the provisions of Articles 25 and 26 of the party's constitution.

For the record, Annuar, who was also a former Umno secretary-general, joined Pas on June 10 after being expelled from Umno membership in a Supreme Council meeting in December last year.

Shahidan, who was a former Umno Supreme Council Member, contested under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) ticket in the 15th General Election (GE15) and successfully retained his Arau parliamentary seat.

In the meantime, Mujibu added that the appointments of Shahidan and Annuar did not add value, as Pas's most significant issue currently is attracting non-Malay voters, as emphasised by its president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang during the party's congress.

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"Although Shahidan and Annuar have significant local influence, it may not necessarily help Pas move forward.

“Moreover, Pas's image as a conservative-nationalist Malay-Islamic party is strong and has the potential to distance non-Malay voters, as well as voters in Sabah and Sarawak," he said.

On the other hand, O2 Research Chief Researcher Anis Anwar Suhaimi said the appointments of the two former Umno leaders are unlikely to be met with opposition from grassroots Pas members.

"This is because both of them have made a significant contribution in bringing the 'green wave,' as seen in Perlis switching state governments for the first time and breaking the change of wave in Kelantan.

“Pas leadership's communication is also effective in convincing its members and followers to accept Pas's political strategy planned by the top leadership," he said.

According to Anis Anwar, the appointments of Shahidan and Annuar also signal Pas's acceptance of any Umno leadership or former leaders seeking an alternative platform to champion the Malay-Islamic agenda.

"Furthermore, this allows both of them to have a broader role in the political arena and represent the Pas brand," he added.

He added that although the appointments might not affect the existing political landscape, which was already saturated with economic crises, outspoken leaders in Parliament such as Shahidan and Annuar who had actively engaged on social media, this allowed the 'green wave' to remain vibrant and felt.

He said as a party based on religious struggle and composed of religious leaders, Pas needed technocratic and professional leadership skilled in public speaking and parliamentary debates (in Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies).

"For instance, Annuar can communicate in the Umno style to bridge Umno members' thinking with Pas's idealism, while Shahidan's strength lies in his humour and his ability to capture the audience's attention," he added.