Embracing the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) multi-ethnic multi-religious doctrine (even secularism) is akin to, for some PAS conservative members, drinking from a poisoned well in the middle of a large desert - damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Tolerating the PR multi-religious or secular beliefs would be against its very ideology, which is that of making Malaysia an Islamic State. In truth there is basically no room for other religion in an Islamic State, much as PAS may assert otherwise.
Yet, PAS has seen its greatest political renaissance since it became a partner of Pakatan Rakyat, albeit an informal one. Kuala Terengganu and Bukit Gantang demonstrated the advantage of being in Pakatan Rakyat.
So as I said, it’s a case of damned if it is part of PR, damned if it isn't ...
... unless it has another option. That’s where the ‘unity government’ comes in.
The attractiveness of the ‘unity government’ (with UMNO-BN) is that it sees its principal potential partner as a mainly Muslim organization (and bugger those non-Muslim organizations like MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the other mosquito parties).
That would be so unlike its current partners, the secular (and thus kaffir-like) DAP and the rozak-religion PKR.
PAS would have a powerful and prominent national role with UMNO as its partner in the proposed ‘unity government’ – and that’s what Pak Haji Hadi Awang wants, which has been why PAS No 2, the more street-wise Nasharudin, has been in full damage control in an attempt not to burn all bridges, though in trying not to undermine his Boss at the same time, he did the unbelievable and insulted his spiritual leader.
Pak Haji Hadi Awang lusts for political prominence, thus he fears being overshadowed by PKR or worse, the DAP.
His obsession (or lust) for political prominence has been to an extent he was prepared to bull about the so-called agreement of DAP and PKR in his secret pet project, the ‘unity government’ with UMNO.
Mind you, he is interested in talks with UMNO, but PKR and DAP don’t have a place in his political fantasy because in ruling partnership with another Muslim orgnaziation he sees PAS emerging from under the shadows of the other two PR component parties.
An additional plus in having UMNO as a partner is the common ethno-nationalistic denominator. PAS under the direction of Pak Haji Hadi Awang is in the final analysis a Malay rather than an Islamic political party.
Pak Haji Hadi Awang and his henchmen cannot see themselves or their brand of politics above ethnicity, despite Islam being a supra-nationalistic religion (unlike Judahism). Already we hear calls from PAS members for a review of PR seats allocation to be in accordance with racial quota.
What about integrity quota, or ethical quota?
In its recent party convention it has also allowed us a peep at its true colours (not that we weren’t aware of them ages ago), that it habours, among its many intolerances, a misogynistic proclivity, with a Taliban-ish attitude towards Sisters in Islam.
The UMNO sharks are already circling PAS re the Hadi Awang proposed ‘unity government’ (or its euphemism, ‘unity talks’). Both Mukhriz Mahathri and Khairy Jamaluddin have been strongly advocating political engagements with PAS. Thier real aim is of course the breakup of PR.
In many ways Pak Haji Hadi Awang is not unlike Anwar Ibrahim, in having an Achilles heel in his political impatience.
But the greater challenge would be for its PR partners to review their strategy with an overly ambitious and nationalist PAS, one whose allegiance must surely now be in doubt.