KUALA LUMPUR, 2 June 2009: Many quarters consider him a spoiler in the face-off between incumbent deputy president Nasharuddin Mohd Isa, who is seen as a conservative and Umno-friendly, and Datuk Husam Musa, leader of the liberal pack in PAS.
However, Mohamad Sabu Mohamad or Mat Sabu, is an old-timer who can hold his own fort. A fiery orator, who was detained under the ISA [Internal Security Act] on two occasions, Mat Sabu is a grassroots man who is at ease with both Muslims and non-Muslims, thanks to growing up in multiracial and multicultural Penang.
His deep friendship with DAP and ties with NGOs [non-governmental organisations] may serve as a plus point as the party tries to shore up non-Malay [Malaysian] support as it prepares to go into the next general election.
The following is the question-and-answer session The Edge Financial Daily had with Mat Sabu recently.
Q: How do you view the relationship between the president and his deputy?
A: The deputy must help the president especially in matters of policy implemented through the constitution and muktamar. The combination of Yusuf Rawa (former PAS president) and Fadzil Noor (former deputy president and subsequently president) was very good. The combination of Fadzil Noor (former PAS president) and (current president) Hadi Awang was also very good. But I think for Hadi, if I become a deputy, I can play the role (to bridge) the non-Muslim, other non-Muslim NGOs, youth associations, culture groups and language societies. I can play this role to help the president to strengthen the party.
Read more here.
This article first appeared on Tuesday, 2 June 2009 in www.theedgemalaysia.com under the same title. Used with permission.