KOTA BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The top lieutenants of Malaysia's opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) beat the drums on Tuesday (May 31) at its assembly meeting in support of their president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, whose Islamic agenda has left the party isolated in the opposition.
It was at this meeting last year that the party approved a motion to cut ties with then ally the Democratic Action Party (DAP), resulting in the demise of opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat.
But deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who officiated the PAS Youth Wing's annual congress, declared the party would survive the loss of allies as long as it remained true to its principles.
Youth chief Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said the party leadership must be bold enough to prevent PAS from being used again, hailing the "ending of the public's dependency on existing parties who have become arrogant".
He further called for PAS to take back seats it had "loaned" to other parties, including former allies Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the DAP, indicating its determination to ignore the wider opposition in a general election due by 2018.
"We have enough experience to show that our friends have used our sincere efforts to achieve victory only to abandon us after that," he said in his speech at the opening of the 57th PAS Youth assembly on Tuesday.
He said the youth movement will go all out to ensure PAS' victory in any election if the party leadership takes a stand to contest in seats once loaned to DAP and PKR.
On PAS' cooperation with others parties, Mr Nik Mohamad Abduh said Islam allows for cooperation with those who are not enemies of the religion.
"Political cooperation does not mean we are absorbed into a different system or a different party that causes us to lose ourselves and our principles," he said.
He added that cooperation should not be to the extent that the party abandons its goal of championing Islam.
On party president Abdul Hadi Awang's Private Member's Bill to allow stiffer punishment by syariah courts in Kelantan, he said this is proof of PAS' insistence in implementing syariah law in the country.
"I have directed PAS Youth leaders throughout the country to explain to youths and the rakyat the beauty of Islam's syariah system," he said.
He added that they must call on all lawmakers to support Datuk Seri Hadi Awang's Bill when it comes up for debate in Parliament.
He also called on the party's "mujahid (troopers)" to do more to counter propaganda by mainstream media and cybertroopers jealous of PAS' struggles.
PKR and the DAP have since formed opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan with PAS splinter party Amanah.