Having tasted blood, it’s extremely hard for Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, the most radical and extremist political party in the country, to return to the opposition. Its president, Abdul Hadi Awang, was promoted as Special Envoy to the Middle East with ministerial rank by former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (April 2020 – August 2021) as the support from the Islamist party was necessary.
Interestingly, Muhyiddin was the same man who had mocked PAS as “Parti Ajaran Sesat” and a party full of liars. But the power-crazy man happily worked with the same party which he had condemned of unorthodox Islamic teachings. Likewise, Hadi shamelessly hugged and kissed the man who ridiculed and laughed PAS as a party of religious deviants.
After Muhyiddin was toppled by a faction of United Malays National Organization (UMNO) led by the party president Zahid Hamidi in August 2021, Hadi continued as special envoy under Prime Minister Ismail Sabri. During Muhyiddin’s 17-month backdoor regime and Ismail’s 14-month un-elected government, Hadi enjoyed top salaries and perks without doing anything.
The cushy job came with a salary of RM60,000 per month, yet the president of the Islamist party did not even feel ashamed for not attending the Parliament meeting. He can afford to lie and cheat because at least 2-million Malay Muslims had blindly voted for his party in the 2018 General Election. Riding on Islam, Hadi easily scammed the gullible Malay-Muslims who worshipped him like a God.
Unfortunately, the gravy train came to a screeching halt after the Nov 2022 General Election that produced a hung Parliament. There was a momentarily celebration when Muhyiddin-led Perikatan Nasional coalition, of which PAS was the biggest stakeholder, pre-maturely declared it had enough seats to form a new government – through bribing 10 UMNO MPs to jump ship.
The thought of enjoying lobsters, receiving kickbacks and flexing power as ministers suddenly crumbled when UMNO president Zahid again destroyed their dreams. Despite its worst performance, the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional has become the kingmaker after the election – neither Pakatan Harapan nor Perikatan Nasional could form a new government without its 30 parliamentary seats.
Snake oil salesman Hadi was incredibly devastated when Zahid chose to partner with rival Pakatan Harapan instead. The new anti-hopping law has provided political stability – the same law both Muhyiddin and Hadi didn’t fully understand when they made a fool of themselves with dubious statutory declarations (SDs) thought to give them numbers to form a government.
Now, with opposition Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin under investigation for possible corruption, money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges, PAS might dump its partner in the event Muhyiddin’s Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party), whose accounts are already frozen, is declared an illegal organization and de-registered.
That means Perikatan Nasional might disintegrate. Some Bersatu leaders might join PAS, but many would rejoin UMNO, leaving the Islamist party alone in the opposition. Without power and free flow of cash, PAS would not have money to buy votes. To remain relevant, religious extremist Hadi vigorously plays racial and religious cards, accusing DAP as anti-Islam and anti-Muslim.
Unlike 4 years ago, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) cleverly ignores Hadi’s trap, leaving him barking like a mad dog. Having learned its lesson, the party knew it’s not worth dancing to the tune of Hadi, who desperately provokes and instigates the Chinese-majority party to retaliate. DAP’s silence, refusing to swallow the bait, only makes PAS more annoyed and angry.
Three days ago (Feb 17), the ultra-extremist Islamist party held a rally in Terengganu where its zombie-liked members and supporters marched with spears, swords, shields, bows and arrows and body armours as if they were on a Jihad crusade against Islam enemies during the ancient Medieval Age. Clearly, it was a deliberate attempt to provoke violence, despite the fake weapons.
PAS president Hadi Awang, who was present at the rally, knew that it would radicalize his ignorant followers to become more extreme and dangerous. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest the display of weapons could lead to racial riots – even terrorism – the same way ISIS terror organization radicalized young Jihadists by using violence and brutality to form the dubious Islamic State.
Yes, Hadi is basically forming his own armies of militants disguised as a parade of medieval Islamic war costumes. If you think the gathering was harmless, think again. Unlike “Chinese Opera” held on stage for entertainment, which PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim tried to draw parallels, PAS’ rally was on a massive scale so much so police forces were mobilized to manage the crowd.
Curiously, the Terengganu police said they were not aware that the marching would involve weapons. Regardless, Hadi knew he could get away with any types of violence because he is “untouchable”. No prime minister, past or present, let alone the Royal Malaysian Police, has the balls to arrest him due to fear of backlash from the increasing number of radicalized Malay-Muslims.
Lame duck Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, a clueless and incompetent loyalist of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, could only lecture people to be sensitive and avoid actions that threaten public peace and safety. Other Malay-Muslim ministers have either kept silence or say the procession was inappropriate and gives a bad image of Islam, avoiding the elephant in the room.
That has emboldened the PAS president to say and do whatever he likes. Already arrogantly considered himself as the God’s messenger, Hadi believes he is more powerful than all the 9 Monarchs combined in the country. Even King Sultan Abdullah was powerless against the Islamist party when it previously committed treason, usurping the power of the Agong (King).
All the Malay Rulers, including 10th Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, should not underestimate the consequences of Hadi Awang’s game of Islamic extremism. For example, when Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak summoned Perak PAS assemblymen for an audience related to the formation of Perak new state government in Dec 2020, Hadi ordered his boys to ignore the royal decree.
But it was just the beginning. It had even gone as far as conspiring with illegitimate PM Muhyiddin and fabricated the revocation of the emergency laws without the consent from the Palace, a move tantamount to usurping the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong – an act of waging war against the King, an offence that carries capital punishment – “death penalty”.
Still, inactions against Hadi and his gang of corrupt religious extremists saw Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah issued a royal decree in 2021 banning politicians from preaching Islam in the state. But it was not the first time the Sultanate of Selangor had revoked the teaching accreditation to politicians. A similar royal decree in March 2019 was ignored by PAS leaders.
Worse, Sultan Sharafuddin was rudely challenged by the Islamist party. Ahmad Dusuki, a PAS leader whose accreditation to preach was revoked effective midnight Dec 31, 2021, has accused the Sultan Selangor – the head of Islam in the state – of anti-Islam for the ban. He even spread dangerous rumours and fears that the royal decree would allow the enemies of Islam to “rejoice”.
The Nov 2022 General Election, which saw Perikatan Nasional grabbed 4.7 million votes, has emboldened PAS even more. The Monarch Institution, and Anwar-led unity government for that matter, should be aware of the disturbing fact that about 50% or half of the early votes – designed for military and police personnel and their spouses – had been cast for Perikatan.
That means even military and police forces have been infiltrated and influenced by religious extremist Hadi and racist bigot Muhyiddin. It also means that if the government and the Malay Rulers continue pussyfooting in stopping the radicalization, it’s a matter of time before the power-hungry PAS leaders launch an “Iranian Revolution” in Malaysia to seize power.
Also known as the Islamic Revolution, the 1979 revolution in Iran saw how the Pahlavi dynasty under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown and replaced with an Islamic Republic under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. All the nine Malay Rulers and Sultans have no one to blame but themselves if they are sent to oblivion by dangerous leaders like Hadi Awang.
After failing to form the government last November, Hadi boldly and rudely condemned the monarch. He criticized King Sultan Abdullah as being an unfair Muslim, saying the “football referee” (in reference to the Malay King as arbiter in the hung Parliament) had provided extra time for the losing side after the match was over, hence allowing the losers to win by any means.
Together with Muhyiddin, who fiercely blamed his failure to become prime minister on the “yellow roof” and “green roof” (in reference to the King’s “Istana Negara” Palace and Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s Palace of Istana Bukit Serene respectively), hardline Muslim political party like PAS has been creating negative perception and instigated the people against the Monarchs.
An Iranian Revolution is the long-term plan. The immediate plan is to create the fear of violence by organizing provocative rally like the PAS armies of militants armed with spears and swords. The despicable ultra-conservative Hadi wanted to create mass demonstration when the time comes. This was done on purpose to create bargaining chips to extort concessions from the Anwar administration.
Taking a page from the playbook of Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the PAS leader wanted PM Anwar to be so terrified that Hadi must be invited to join the unity government, the same way opposition leader Prabowo Subianto joined Jokowi government as Defence Minister under the pretext of political stability. And Hadi thinks Anwar is “too kind and too weak” to reject him.
It’s worth noting that a day after Anwar was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia shamelessly said it will consider joining the unity government. But it didn’t materialize after Muhyiddin rejected PAS’ desire. Therefore, Hadi must first create chaos or crisis to justify why the government and the monarchs should extend an invitation to the political party.
If Islamist extremism is not contained, especially during current Anwar’s administration, then PAS would become too powerful to control. The rally of its trainee militants with weapons was just the appetizer. It has demonstrated its ability to challenge the Malay Rulers. And Hadi has shown he is “above the law” – freely radicalizing and preaching violence without any repercussion from the authorities.