Malaysian opposition PAS's move to severe ties with ally DAP without debate draws heated response

KUALA SELANGOR - The opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) on Saturday confirmed its decision to severe ties with its ally the Democratic Action Party (DAP) while deferring debates on the motion, provoking a heated response from some of its members.

The motion to severe ties with the DAP even as the party insisted it would remain part of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance was passed on the last day of the party's annual congress, The Star reported.

PAS information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar declared the motion was accepted without debate as it was "too sensitive" to be brought up at the annual general meeting.

To this, Negri Sembilan delegate Faiz Fadzil stood up and demanded why the issue was deemed sensitive.

"The delegates have the right to determine the direction of the party. If this matter is not decided at the muktamar (congress), how do we explain to our grassroots members?" he asked.

Another delegate from Selangor said any decision on the tahaluf siyasi (political cooperaton) should not be made in haste.

"We, from Selangor would understand how important it is to have this tahaluf siyasi.

"Because of our win in Selangor, the mosques here are now filled with followers," said the delegate who was not named.

He then suggested a special congress to debate the motion.

"It is easy to divorce… this is not a decision to be made on Facebook and Whatsapp.

"There are consequences. Dear ulama leaders, please use your wisdom!" he said in his emotional plea.

PAS's move to to push for hudud laws in Kelantan state, which it controls, against the wishes of its partners in the PR alliance, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the (DAP), has thrown the opposition PR alliance into disarray.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has been steadfast in his decision to push for hudud laws - the Islamic criminal code that allows for punishment such as amputation. He retained the party presidency in polls held on Thursday and pledged the importance of continuing pursuing with hudud, saying the laws have to be carried out because the Kelantan people want a "return to Islam".

Mr Hadi's unwillingness to compromise on hudud has already led the DAP to end its ties with him.

PAS has on Wednesday approved an emergency motion by its powerful clergy wing to sever ties with its partner DAP, but remain in PR.

The motion had stated four resolutions, which included urging the party not to compromise its Islamic policies.