Can Amanah stay relevant? Mat Sabu and Mujahid team up to drive party forward

Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
Mohd Faizul Haika Mat Khazi
27 Dec 2023 10:35am
The five top leaders of Amanah from left: Siti Mariah, Mujahid, Mohamad, Dr Dzulkefly and Adly. - FILE PIX by Sinar
The five top leaders of Amanah from left: Siti Mariah, Mujahid, Mohamad, Dr Dzulkefly and Adly. - FILE PIX by Sinar

SHAH ALAM - The continuity of Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu as President and his 'number two' Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof highlight consensus and complete unity within the Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) leadership.

This strategic move is considered vital to fulfill the aspirations of supporters and grassroots voters, ensuring the party remains relevant.

The importance of this strategic move lies in averting a fate similar to Parti Hizbul Muslimin Malaysia (Hamim) and Parti Berjasa Malaysia (Berjasa), which are now perceived as 'living shy and dying unwillingly,' losing relevance in mainstream Malaysian politics.

Historically, Hamim and Berjasa played significant roles among Islamic-based parties and Pas fragments until the 1990s.

However, their influence waned, and they failed to secure electoral seats for over three decades.

Hamim, established in 1983 by Tan Sri Dr Asri Muda, separated from Pas in 1983 due to Pas's failure to regain control of the Kelantan state government in the 1982 General Election.

Berjasa, led by Zamani Ibrahim, was founded by former Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhamed Nasir in 1977 after his expulsion from Pas.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics, Perdana Centre Lecturer, and Associate Professor Dr Mazlan Ali expressed his opinion that retaining Mohamad as President reflects the belief in his continued significant contribution to Amanah.

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Simultaneously, the selection of Mujahid is seen as part of a preparatory process for the party's leadership transition.

Mazlan envisions a high possibility of Mujahid becoming the next Amanah President, with the former Malacca Chief Minister, Adly Zahari, potentially filling Mujahid's current position as Vice President for the second consecutive term.

"As Deputy President, Mujahid can already initiate reforms in Amanah, particularly in terms of empowering the organisation and enhancing the involvement of new members at the grassroots level, as the current membership of around 200,000 people is deemed insufficient," he told Sinar.

Mazlan highlighted the historic moment of Siti Mariah Mahmud, a woman, securing a Top Five position for the first time.

Although she had previously held the same seat by appointment, this represents a significant step.

The appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad as Vice President is expected to enhance Amanah's popularity, given his favorable reputation among the people.

Adly is perceived as a potential new leader during the party's leadership transition.

"I also see the move of appointing the Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly, Adly and Siti Mariah as Vice Presidents shows that Amanah is strengthening its leadership because it represents various groups including professionals and women.

"So, in conclusion, this new leadership line is quite solid and gives the party a strong unity by maintaining Mohamad's leadership for continuing the tradition and recognising his great contribution to the establishment and political survival of Amanah," he added.

Avoid identity politics

To avoid a fate similar to Berjasa and Hamim, Mazlan emphasised the need for Amanah to return to the foundation of its struggle, focusing on the concept of Rahmatan Lil Alamin rather than identity politics.

This is crucial for gaining respect not only from Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties but also from other coalitions, including Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), and Warisan.

"If Amanah fails to make changes and transformations to attract voters, especially the young generation and Muslim Malays, the party may suffer the same fate as Berjasa and Hamim," he cautioned.

The Amanah election for the 2023-2026 session on Sunday saw Dr Dzulkefly bagged the most votes in the Amanah central committee race.

He received 900 votes from delegates, followed closely by former federal territories minister Khalid Abd Samad who obtained 899 votes.

Some prominent leaders, including Sri Gading MP Aminolhuda Hassan, Kota Lama assemblyman Hafidzah Mustakim, former Kota Bharu MP Wan Rahim Wan Abdullah, and veteran activist Mazlan Aliman, lost in this election.