PAS’ Gombak assemblyman and Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state executive councilor Datuk Dr Hassan Ali’s message is so clear that even a standard six ‘graduate’ could understand it.
Basically the popular PAS leader just repeated what DAP chairman Karpal Singh stated two years ago, that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was ‘not fit’ to lead Pakatan Rakyat.
But Dr Hassan Ali’s statement is of greater significance as it comes days after Anwar admitted that Pakatan Rakyat would be naming his successor soon, when he becomes irrelevant to the Opposition pact. - Days before the court decides if Anwar is guilty of ‘unnatural sex’ with his aide.
Its public knowledge that a power struggle is in full gear within the loose political pact of Pas, PKR and DAP even before Anwar spoke about his replacement.
Dr Hassan Ali’s assertion that it would only be perfect for either Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang or spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat to lead Pakatan Rakyat was certainly not a knee-jerk statement. It was the unstated agreement within PR, until recently.
Dr Hassan Ali’s stand that Pas members should not be wasting their time taking part in the planned ‘Free Anwar 901’ demonstration on the 9th of Jan (Monday) was also not a knee-jerk statement. His stand just showed the inner feelings of PAS’ leaders.
Back to the issue of who next to lead Pakatan Rakyat to fill the gap when Anwar is removed, or removes himself?
There has been one too many sources who point at Anwar’ daughter Nurul Izzah, his blue-eyed boy Azmin Ali, his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, PKR youth leader Shamsul Iskandar and even KITA president Datuk Zaid Ibrahim as the possible replacement leader.
Umno’s Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has been rather coy about his secret meetings with Pakatan leaders, also appears in the equation.
In fact Ku Li appears to be the popular choice among DAP leaders who can’t possibly sit on the PR throne themselves.
Ironically none of the PR insiders even mentioned Nik Aziz or Hadi Awang, and Pas leaders are fully aware of this reality too.
It was understood that even some top PAS office bearers were not in favour of Hadi or Nik Aziz leading Pakatan Rakyat.
Thus the strong statement from the ‘ulamak’ in Pas, via Dr Hassan Ali, is worth pondering.
Barring the likes of Deputy president Mat Sabu and vice-president Mahfuz Omar, other leaders including the powerful Ulama council have basically agreed that the Islamic party should take the lead to save PR, when the morally tainted Anwar is removed.
Pas taking the driver’s seat in Pakatan Rakyat could in fact be more beneficial to Pas than PR since their Islamic state = Welfare state compromise has put them in a political predicament.
Obviously none of the PKR and DAP leaders think that Pas is fit to lead Pakatan.
Even in the worst-case scenario they in PKR are willing to accept Ku Li, but not any of the Pas leaders.
So, it would be rather naïve for anyone especially Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters to assume that Dr Hassan Ali statement was his personal outburst.
It may well be a prelude to Pas issuing an ultimatum to PKR/DAP and the pro-Anwar faction within Pas itself.
Would Pas wait for the power brokers to announce Anwar Ibrahim’s successor and then decide on their next course of action or have they stated their case and given those PKR/DAP powerbrokers an ultimatum?
Again, sources are singing too many tunes but we should not be surprised if PAS quits Pakatan Rakyat should their president or spiritual leader is put in the same basket as Anwar Ibrahim - not fit to lead.
Certainly the picture would be clearer on Monday, after Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy saga comes to an end.
Monday is D-Day for Pas, more than it is for Anwar Ibrahim!