Marriage of Convenience
I think every political analyst knows that PAS will not last long in Pakatan. The political ideology of PAS and DAP, two main components of Pakatan is completely at variance. PAS stands for a theological ideology using the brand of "Islam" while DAP stands for secularism and a "Malaysian Malaysia"
The so-called coalition of Pakatan is nothing more than a marriage of convenience. I knew there was something amiss when PAS came out with their "Welfare State" trying to subtly get away from their decades of cry of "Islamic State" which, no thanks to IS, has become a bad word today.
So, Pakatan was just a political marriage of convenience foisted on the voters by three political parties with completely different agendas. In this marriage of convenience, only DAP is consistent with its "Malaysian Malaysia" and secular objective despite its "Chinese only image".
PAS practices politics of exclusivity
It should be clear as daylight to any Malaysian citizen that PAS brand of politics is by its very nature is exclusive - it excludes non-Muslims (do you know of any non-Muslim party member?) and excludes many Muslims (if not, why Muslims in UMNO or elsewhere never joined it?).
Hence, PAS's politics is about politics of exclusivism with its political insistence on imposing its brand of "Islam" and its own version of "syariah". This kind of politics does not only isolate the non-Muslims, it also isolates the Muslims who may not agree with PAS's interpretation of "Islam" and what it encompasses. PAS has always mixed religion with politics freely based on manipulating the argument that "Islam is all encompassing" while ignoring other equally valid arguments.
I strongly believe that if the economic and educational levels of the Malay Muslims increase in this country and there is greater freedom to discussion Islamic ideas and concepts, the political influence of PAS will naturally wane. PAS will survive so long as there are Malay Muslims who are ignorant of the Quran or a certain kind of conservative interpretation of Islam continues to be mainstream.
The fact that many Muslim reformists themselves have been rejected at the recent PAS Assembly is evidence of the exclusivism of the conservative mindset in PAS. If the PAS members themselves cannot accept reformist interpretations from their own leaders, do you actually expect them to appreciate other Muslim scholarly views? What more the views of non-Muslims? So, voters better wake up to this fact.
Frankly the biggest mistake ever done by the government is to allow political parties to be identified with religion, what more Islam in this case, which is the religion of the majority of the citizens of this country.
In India you have the RSS, which is considered as a Hindu Nationalist movement and the BJP which is considered as imbued with Hindu religious fundamentalism and often anti-science. Now, the BJP has somehow formed the government and expectations are that India will regress, unless BJP adapts to the national realities instead of fundamentalism.
The biggest question that this theological politicians from PAS have yet to answer: What have they contributed in real terms to the Kelantanese after being in power for so long other than stories of fantasy and wishful thinking?
DAP promotes secularism and a Malaysian Malaysia.
If you compare DAP with either PAS or PKR, even if you do not support DAP, you have to admit that their political struggle is quite clear. The late Mr Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng and even Lim Kit Siang are clear that they support secularism, for lack of a better word. They allow for freedom of religion and are concerned about sensitivities of each communities religion.
More importantly, DAP has always focused on national issues affecting all citizens regardless of ethnic or religious origins.
Of course, DAP has a past that has given it an image that it is a "Chinese chauvinist" party but I think it has changes and is changing under Lim Guan Eng. If more Malays join the party, I will not underestimate DAP to be a more formidable party acceptable by Malaysians.
Many scorned me when I predicted that DAP will wrestle Penang easily and that many Malays will join DAP.
With this rising tide of "religionisation" taking place in the country, especially UMNO behaving clueless in this area, I will not be surprised if many more Muslims join DAP as a platform to regain their right to practice Islam as they see it.
Irony? Wait and see.
Peace and Salam Ramadan.