Umno’s attacks on muktamar reflects panic, say PAS leaders
By Zulaikha Zulkifli
June 06, 2011

By Zulaikha Zulkifli
KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Umno’s strident attacks on PAS for allegedly sacrificing its Islamic state agenda is proof the ruling party is shell-shocked by the election of professionals, party leaders say.
Re-elected vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the weekend’s party polls, which saw progressive leaders wipe out conservative ulamas from the deputy and vice-presidencies, have left Umno leaders shaken.

“(Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) and other Umno leaders are now panicking. It looks like this muktamar has succeeded in bringing chaos among their ranks,” the Pokok Sena MP told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the question of whether PAS has neglected Islam does not arise at all but “Umno is acting in desperation as the public has rejected other issues it has been raising.”

Muhyiddin, who is Umno deputy president, accused PAS yesterday of sacrificing Islamic principles for the sake of politics, saying the party should have used its muktamar to seek the truth behind a sex video allegedly featuring Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The deputy prime minister also mocked PAS, which his party has repeatedly tried to woo into forming a unity government, claiming the Islamist party was likely afraid the “truth” behind the video would tarnish its religious image.

PAS delegates had moved at its party assembly to condemn state muftis and Islamic scholars for keeping silent over the controversial sex video caper.

It followed from the ulama faction, most significantly former deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, suffering huge losses in Friday’s vote.

“My advice to Muhyiddin is that he should learn more from ulamas if he wants to talk about adultery,” Mahfuz said.

Newly-elected deputy president Mohamed Sabu also said Muhyiddin should refer to Islamic scholars before speaking about PAS and its Islamic agenda.

“He cannot say that because our leadership is made up of capable ulamas who refer to the scriptures,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Vice-president Salahuddin Ayub condemned Muhyiddin for prejudging PKR de facto leader Anwar.

“He does not know Islamic principles. Islam does not allow us to disgrace others. The allegations against Anwar involve his dignity,” the Kubang Kerian MP said.

A mysterious “Datuk T” had aired a 21-minute recording to reporters at the prestigious Carcosa Seri Negara hotel here in April, alleging that it was a video of Anwar having sex with a prostitute, a claim that the former deputy prime minister has denied.

“Datuk T” was later identified as a group made up of businessman Datuk Shazryl Eskay Abdullah, former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik and former Perkasa treasurer-general Datuk Shuib Lazim.