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PAS ulama move to assert leadership

Corrected on 4 June 09 at 10.50pm

SHAH ALAM, 4 Jun 2009: PAS’s Ulama wing today approved a motion to get the party’s central leadership to ensure that the posts of president, deputy president and at least one vice-president are held by ulama.

However, incoming ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib said at a press conference that it was left to be seen if the main muktamar body would accept the motion, which was originally proposed by the Terengganu ulama.

When asked if he would push the motion through to the main muktamar, Harun said, “I’m not too focused on this motion alone, but on bigger things, such as how to strengthen PAS so that it has more impact in the future.”

The motion was one of four approved by the Ulama wing to be brought to the main muktamar which begins tomorrow.

The remaining motions were on the setting up of maahad tahfidz sains (religious science schools) to cater for students interested in Islam-based education (proposed by Negeri Sembilan); getting Pakatan Rakyat (PR)-ruled states to approve full-paid maternity leave for mothers in the civil service who give birth beyond five children (by Kelantan); and setting up a special bulletin in PR-ruled states to counter Barisan Nasional (BN) propaganda (also by Kelantan).

Kepimpinan ulama defended

The debates and speeches in the wing mainly agreed with outgoing chief Datuk Mohamad Daud Iraqi that PAS needed to defend the leadership of the ulama.

The debates followed three main strands: defining ulama as professionals, opposing the sidelining of the ulama within the party, and strategising ways in which ulama could implement Islamic policies in PR-ruled states.

Johor delegate Salahuddin Osman defended the ulama as professionals, and said, “The ulama have studied their field of expertise for decades — are they not professionals in their own right?”

On the issue of ulama being sidelined, Ulama Muslimat decried the sidelining of ulama, and claimed that there were efforts at the grassroots levels by professionals to “usurp” the ulama in the party’s leadership.

Ibrahim Zakaria
Perak delegate Ibrahim Zakaria suggested setting up a coordinating committee in the Youth and Muslimat wings consisting of ulama to strengthen ulama-based leadership.

On the issue of implementing Islamic laws in PR-ruled states, Saiful Bahri from Terengganu and Mohd Lutfi Ariffin from Kedah said PAS would need to delve into the differences in composition among the PR-led states to determine how best to implement Islamic laws.

New committee elected

On the wing’s elections, only posts in the wing’s central working committee and the post of auditors were contested today, while all others were won uncontested.

The full results of the new office bearers in the wing are:

Permanent chairperson:                
Hamdan Mohamad

Deputy permanent chairperson:   
Abd Manaf Othman

Ulama chief:                                    
Datuk Harun Taib

Deputy chief:                                   
Datuk Ahmad Yaakob

Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed

Central working committee:          
Datuk Husin Awang
Abdul Ghani Samsudin
Nik Mohd Zawawi Salleh
Salleh Harun
Abu Bakar Abdullah
Datuk Mohamad Daud Iraqi
Abdullah Abdul Razak
Datuk Hasan Mohamad
Ismail Noh
Mohd Zain Abdul Rahman
Muhammad Mustafa
Abdullah Husin

(Corrected) Auditor:                                         
Ibrahim Omar 

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