09 June 2015
MALAYSIA’S opposition alliance is bracing itself for a possible break-up or, at least, a messy fallout from the heated elections of its Islamic ally, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), which saw the total marginalisation of the pragmatic pro-alliance professionals.
Purist ulama (religious clerics) won near-total control of PAS, backed by a younger generation of clerics who displayed a surprising knack for this-worldly party politics.
Their sweeping victory was widely expected yet shocking to many, leading some local analysts to aptly describe it as an “ulama tsunami”.
It caps a long struggle for control between the more conservative ulama and the professionals who want to mainstream PAS for a multi-ethnic electorate through the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance.
… The writer is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 09/06/2015