Thursday, December 28, 2023

All eyes on Mujahid as he assumes Amanah’s deputy presidency

All eyes on Mujahid as he assumes Amanah’s deputy presidency

Party has its work cut out to defeat PAS, says political scientist.

Published on 28 Dec 2023

Amanah deputy president Senator Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusuf Rawa’s (pic) father is Yusuf Rawa, who led PAS from 1982 to 1989. – Facebook pic, December 27, 2023

ALL eyes will be on newly appointed Amanah deputy president Senator Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusuf Rawa, the son of a former PAS president, as he assents to possibly lead a splinter group of the Islamist party.

Amanah, with a membership of some 200,000, is the smallest component of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, and it is only known as a party of former PAS technocrats, who by ideology are mostly moderate and articulate.

The 27 committee members, who were voted in at the recent party convention, together appointed Mujahid as the deputy president.

Mujahid by qualification is a cleric who also studied human resources development and political science, making him an ideal leader to take Amanah forward.

But unfortunately, since its formation in 2015, the party has largely stayed in the shadow of its nemesis PAS, which has over a million members, largely because of its inability to convince voters that it is a better option to PAS in the Malay heartland.

Political scientist Datuk Sivamurugan Pandian said Amanah has its work cut out to defeat PAS, which is now very much in the psyche of the Malay voters.

The issue is Amanah has been associated as a “lackey” of DAP in the eyes of some voters, while also falling victim to a perception that Islam has become secondary under the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led unity government.

Mujahid needs to work harder to convince Malay-Muslim voters that Amanah offers a better option than their “cousins” in PAS, added the observers.

Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamed Sabu, 69, will also need to play a greater role in his last term as the president, with many observers believing that when his term ends in 2026, the former PAS strongman will likely bid adieu to the party.

“He may remain as a minister though but perhaps within the Amanah setup, it is likely that Mujahid, 59, would need to counter PAS’ far right narrative,” said observers.

Out of the current parties in the national unity alliance, which now includes Umno through Barisan Nasional, Amanah is seen as the best to counter PAS, namely because its leaders used to be big personalities in the Islamist party.

Amanah needs to unearth new talents and listen to the suggestions of the popular Amanah information czar Khalid Samad, who has among others called for better media machinery to counter the slander and lies targeted at PH.

Khalid believes that many of the obstacles faced by Amanah is due to the false narrative that its rivals had successfully portrayed of the party.

Mujahid’s father is Yusuf Rawa, who led PAS from 1982 to 1989.

Yusuf is famous for defeating the then young Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the Kota Setar Selatan parliamentary seat with a majority of 989.

Dr Mahathir is a two-time prime minister and, at the age of 98, continues to wield political clout despite his obvious retirement from full-time politics.

Another son of a former PAS president is Muhammad Faiz Fadzil, whose father Datuk Fadzil Noor was the successor to Yusuf, as the PAS president in 1989.

Faiz is now with Amanah too.

He lost in the last state election in Penang, failing to defend his Penanti seat but the Kedah-born lawyer eyes a comeback.

Faiz has called on Amanah to be more aggressive in countering PAS, saying that the days of playing second-best to the party should end with Amanah taking the lead since it is also part of the national unity Madani government.

Amanah has the substance to dislodge PAS, especially since the sons of two former PAS presidents are in its fold – the question is whether they can deliver. – The Vibes, December 28, 2023

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