With the emergence of PASMA, PKR and DAP can kick PAS out of the coalition and tell the ulama’ to go to hell. Hence the survival of PAS depends on how well PASMA performs in the next two or three years. And without money PASMA will end up like Berjasa and Hamim, two other PAS breakaway parties of the 1970s and 1980s that most Malaysians have not even heard of.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah spent RM60 million to finance his Umno-breakaway party, Semangat 46, in the seven years and four months that the party was in existence from 1989 to 1996.
That was RM60 million around 20-25 years ago. Today, that would be equivalent to three or four times RM60 million. I mean, when a house that cost RM200,000-250,000 back then now costs more than a million that would be quite a realistic calculation.
And the reason why the figure was low — only RM60 million — is because Tengku Razaleigh basically only had to finance Kelantan with a bit of head office expenses.
The Semangat 46 chiefs of Terengganu (Tengku Sri Paduka Raja, Tengku Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah) and Pahang (Tan Sri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar) were both brothers to Sultans so they were wealthy enough to not need financial support from Tengku Razaleigh.
The Semangat 46 chiefs of the west coast states were all also from equally well-to-do families. So they, too, could afford to finance much of their political activities and the elections from their own pockets.
If all the Semangat 46 heads of the other states outside Kelantan also needed financial support from Tengku Razaleigh, he would have had to fork out at least RM300 million or more over those seven years and four months. And, as I said, this was 20-25 years ago. Imagine the cost today.
And that was the reason why Tengku Razaleigh decided to call it quits after seven years and four months. The high cost for the very little gain was just not worth it. Other than winning Kelantan in 1990, a year after the birth of Semangat 46 (even then in partnership with PAS), Tengku Razaleigh could see that after two general elections nothing more could be achieved.
Of course, there was another reason why Tengku Razaleigh decided to dissolve Semangat 46 in 1996 and, together with a number of other Semangat 46 leaders, rejoined Umno. And this reason was Anwar Ibrahim.
In 1996, Anwar was already planning his move to oust Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and take over as Prime Minister. Dr Mahathir knew this so in 1997 he took a two-month holiday and appointed Anwar the Acting Prime Minister to see what his protégé and Deputy Prime Minister would do.
With Dr Mahathir out of the country for two months and with him as Acting Prime Minister, Anwar made his moves. Dr Mahathir, of course, had his spies who sent him daily reports on what Anwar was up to. From the daily reports Dr Mahathir could see that Anwar was moving in for the kill.
That same year, during the 1997 Umno general assembly, Anwar launched his attack on Dr Mahathir using Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as his hit man. Dr Mahathir then launched his counter-attack and the following year, in September 1998, Anwar was finished off and he spent the next six years in jail until September 2004.
Hence the closing down of Semangat 46 so that Tengku Razaleigh and the other party leaders could rejoin Umno was not just about money. It was also about countering Anwar. Dr Mahathir needed allies to check Anwar and to stop him from taking over as Prime Minister.
And this brings us to the subject of PASMA or ‘Pas Baru’, the breakaway party that Anwar is mooting.
As I said in an earlier article, PAS breakaway party about to be launched (READ HERE), PAS is divided into the ulama’ faction and the Erdogan faction a.k.a. the liberals a.k.a. the Anwarinas, what we probably can call the Young Turks.
The Young Turks are trying to oust the more conservative ulama’ faction so that PAS can become more DAP- and PKR-friendly. And that is why the ulama’ faction in PAS refuses to go along with DAP’s and PKR’s plan to sack Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and replace him with Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Yesterday, PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang revealed the reason why the ulama’ faction refuses to support Rafizi Ramli’s now disastrous Kajang Move (SEE THE VIDEO HERE). And the issue of money was raised.
Khalid refuses to release part of the RM3 billion that Selangor has accumulated to finance party activities. Khalid feels that the party should not misuse state money, meaning taxpayers’ money. And PAS, too, agrees with Khalid’s stand.
But Anwar needs to get his hands on this money, not just to finance PKR and DAP but also to finance the new PAS breakaway party, PASMA. As I said, it cost Tengku Razaleigh RM60 million to finance Semangat 46 and would have cost five times that had the other states outside Kelantan also needed financial support.
How can PASMA become viable if they do not have money? PAS has about one million members who generously donate tens of millions to the party every year. So PAS is cash-rich. But PASMA will be penniless unless Anwar can arrange for Selangor to fork out tens of millions to face the next general election in about three years or so.
PAS needs to protect Khalid to protect the RM3 billion in the Selangor coffers. If the Menteri Besar is changed then PASMA can get its hands on that money (DAP and PKR as well, of course). And if PASMA, with so much money, becomes successful, that would mean PAS would be replaced by PASMA as the new coalition member of Pakatan Rakyat.
With the emergence of PASMA, PKR and DAP can kick PAS out of the coalition and tell the ulama’ to go to hell. Hence the survival of PAS depends on how well PASMA performs in the next two or three years. And without money PASMA will end up like Berjasa and Hamim, two other PAS breakaway parties of the 1970s and 1980s that most Malaysians have not even heard of. – Malaysia Today