Amanah: Between keys to stability and new breath

23 Dec 2023 08:50am
Between Mat Sabu's last tribute vs Mujahid's new breath, who will lead the idea of ​​'Rahmatan Lil Alamin' in captivating the hearts of more than 200,000 Amanah members?
Between Mat Sabu's last tribute vs Mujahid's new breath, who will lead the idea of ​​'Rahmatan Lil Alamin' in captivating the hearts of more than 200,000 Amanah members?

SHAH ALAM – Dec 22 to 24 will determine who is eligible to grab the highest position in the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) through the election of 27 members of the Amanah Leadership Committee held simultaneously with the 2023 Amanah National Convention.

While the party boasts several influential leadership candidates, its president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, was perceived as the most dominant figure poised to lead Amanah for this term.

On the other hand, Amanah vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof was considered the primary challenger for the presidential seat, who sought to infuse new life into the party and had been actively campaigning in recent months.

The key question revolves around determining who was more qualified to align the vision, mission and party with the concept of Rahmatan Lil Alamin, capturing the support of over 200,000 Amanah members.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Seremban Faculty of Administrative Sciences and Policy Studies Senior Lecturer in Political Science Dr Ariff Aizuddin Azlan said although both candidates stand a good chance in the election, Mat Sabu holds a slight advantage over Mujahid.

"Both of them are veterans of the party and also former top leaders in Pas, but Mat Sabu has his own character and political charisma.

"I believe that if there is a wave or influx of people into the Amanah party, it is due to the Mat Sabu factor. This is because he is seen as a simple political figure but able to function as the main binder of Amanah as well as a connecting bridge between other component parties such as PKR and DAP.

"In addition, Mat Sabu's uniqueness as a political orator also indirectly makes him a leader who has good ideas and arguments, especially when dealing with opposing parties," he told Sinar Premium.

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Ariff believed that the Agriculture and Food Security Minister was not only able to win a lot of votes but also held the key to the stability of the Pakatan Harapan coalition party and was seen as more liked among the main leaders of PKR and DAP.

"Mat Sabu has leadership characteristics that are simple and highly resilient. At a time when party competition is intensifying between the unity government and the opposition bloc, Perikatan Nasional (PN), I feel that there is a need to put a figure like Mat Sabu for political power.

"Mat Sabu's position is, in other words, a lifeline to the stability and long-term struggle of the Amanah party," he said.

Commenting on the allegation that certain chairmen of government-related agencies (GLC), appointed by Mat Sabu may be leaning towards favoring Mujahid, Ariff said that it was premature to pass judgment on such propaganda and sentiment.

"This is because Amanah is a stable party compared to PKR and DAP. This internal political calm and stability is centered on the character of the political players in Amanah who always believe in the concept of openness and simplicity," he said.

Challenges for the newbies

In the meantime, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Centre for Core Studies, Associate Professor and Lecturer Dr Mohd Azmir Mohd Nizah said Mujahid's absence from the Cabinet might diminish his perceived influence and power.

It provided him with an opportunity to connect more closely with the grassroots of the party.

"Even though he no longer holds a position in the Cabinet compared to Mat Sabu, the professional image that Mujahid has highlighted to some extent gives him an advantage to get a mandate from the members and ranks of the leadership committee.

"It is in line with the image brought by other vice presidents, while Mat Sabu's focus is more on solving more urgent and critical policy issues related to the minister's portfolio," he said.

Reflecting on Mat Sabu's eight-year leadership, Azmir acknowledged his success in bringing positive changes to the party, including forming the Federal government twice.

However, the challenges given by new faces including leaders like Mujahid might give Amanah aspirations to 'fly' higher.

"Mat Sabu's eight years as president is enough for members to judge his leadership. If Mat Sabu and Mujahid are selected to be in the 27 highest committee, then the heavy task after that is on the shoulders of the highest committee to determine the direction of Amanah.

"Perhaps Mujahid can bring new life to the party with the vision he brought when he was Religion Minister before. The performance of other Amanah ministers can also be used as a yardstick in evaluating what the party leader has in carrying the voice of Amanah members," he said.