Much has been said about Datuk Dr. Hasan Ali, the former Selangor state commissioner of the party and (previously) a state Exco in the Pakatan Rakyat state government, in the past few weeks. Some had claimed that the reason for the decision to sack him was because of outside pressure from PAS’ partners, DAP and PKR and that the PAS leadership had bowed down to others. Others have said that the reason Hasan Ali was sacked was because of his so-called “activism” against apostasy and the set-up of a counter-apostasy unit borne by the department under his portfolio (religious affairs) and therefore Hasan Ali’s sacking is a detriment to the cause of Islam itself. Even more ludicrous is the claim by Hasan Ali himself that he was sacked on the orders of Anwar Ibrahim!
It truly befuddles me that despite the gains PAS has made in Election 2008, many still fail to understand the “PAS political culture” which is totally distinct from UMNO, the current ruling party at Federal level. Many of the folk who make such assumptions and claims are ignorant of the Islamic concept of working in a jamaah, which PAS believes in and fully espouses. Unlike the UMNO political culture, the Islamic movement as enshrined by PAS is not dependent on the “aura” of a single individual. Anyone and everyone are both indispensable and at the same time, also dispensable in for the cause of Islam via the party. PAS has seen leaders who were once influential come and go like the tide; and yet the party marches on. Difference of opinions are fine for as long as they do not contradict the overall political direction as decided by PAS’ central working committee.
Unfortunately this was what Dr. Hasan Ali failed to understand, that he is not ma’sum and that PAS is not him and he is not PAS. For several days up to the day the party’s CWC decided to sack him, Hasan Ali has done nothing but attack the party’s tahalluf siyasi in Pakatan Rakyat, while at the same time tooting his own horn of the “deeds” he has done for the cause of the party (despite the fact that he had never presented his pet project for review to the PAS leadership and kept the party in the dark). Worse still, he had done it by granting interviews to pro-UMNO newspapers which were more than happy to publish such sensational stories at the detriment of PAS’ image. Furthermore, he appeared on TV3 lambasting the Negara Berkebajikan concept and leaves little room in mind of the viewer that he believes PAS has “strayed” from its Islamic path. I personally watched this interview on air and could only shake my head in dismay at the attitude of Hasan Ali, who had clearly become a poison in the body of the jamaah. The more he made his views known in pro-UMNO media, the more he sounded like an UMNO man.
Therefore when it was announced by the party that Hasan Ali was now sacked, I heaved my breath in relief. It was probably the best thing for both Hasan Ali and PAS; the party has got rid of the poison to continue its relationship with Pakatan Rakyat, and Hasan Ali is now free to join UMNO with no strings attached. Hasan Ali was not sacked because of his strong aversion to apostasy; he was sacked because of his strong aversion to PAS!