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Halaman ini diterbit 
Lujnah Penerangan Dewan Pemuda PAS Sabah. 
 No. 10, Lorong 14, Kg. Sembulan Baru 88100 Kota Kinabalu Sabah.  
WE ARE THE ALTERNATIVE' Pas's president on his party's prospects

IN THE MID-1970S, when Anwar Ibrahim was president of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM by its Malay initials), Fadzil Mohamed Noor was his deputy. Anwar went on to become deputy prime minister, from 1993 until his ouster from the government and UMNO last September. 

Meanwhile, Fadzil rose through the ranks of Pas, to become its head
in 1989. Except for one brief period of cooperation, Pas and UMNO have long been bitter foes. Now Pas has taken up Anwar's cause and is offering electoral support to his wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, should she decide to stand in the general elections. 

Fadzil, 61, discussed this subject and related issues with Correspondent Santha Oorjitham. The following excerpts are translated from their conversation, which was in Malay.

Pas claims to have registered 71,000 new members in the past five months. What's behind the surge?

People support Pas because they don't believe in UMNO, because of various problems within UMNO - corruption, nepotism, favoritism, [PM] Mahathir's "anti-ulama" [anti-theologian] attitude in his speeches. UMNO's sacking of Anwar is also a factor, because some of the new Pas members are former UMNO members.

The accusations by Dr. Mahathir against Anwar have increased the anger of many people toward the UMNO leadership - and the alternative is Pas.

How were your relations with Anwar after he joined UMNO?

Not as they were in ABIM, but sometimes we phoned each other.

So what do you think of Anwar's situation now?

The issue for Pas is the cruelty of the government in using the Internal Security Act (ISA), [which allows detention without trial].
When Anwar was sacked on Sept. 2, I phoned him. He said he thought he would be detained. On Sept. 3 I visited him.

I thought there was a big possibility he would be arrested. After Anwar was indeed arrested, we convened opposition parties and NGOs to oppose the ISA. This has been Pas's stand since the 1960s. We are defending Anwar not as an individual or because he is a friend but because he was oppressed under the ISA.

And you are backing Anwar's wife.

We would give way to Dr. Wan Azizah if she wishes to contest the general elections anywhere. We might help with manpower.
If she contests at the parliamentary level, our state-assembly candidate could help her, with campaign work including security,
arranging the program. It can be done.

When do you think general elections will be held?

Soon, around August or September.

And how do you think Pas will perform?

We can defend Kelantan. We hope to win other states - Trengganu, Kedah and Perlis - and form the state government. In Perlis, many people are not happy with the current chief minister. His attitude is too much. The government's Barisan Nasional coalition can [drop] him, but if Dr. Mahathir is still leading it, the majority will still be angry.

Is Pas's goal to form an Islamic state?

According to Islamic teaching, it is every Muslim's duty to try to form an Islamic state. It is considered a sin if we do notimplement shariah (Islamic religious law). But what's important is substance, not form. Islam guarantees justice for all, distribution of national wealth, freedom of speech. 

We've formed a coalition [with non-Muslim groups too] on issues that we agree on - bringing justice back to the people and denying a victory to Barisan in the general elections. Because these changes cannot be made if Barisan continues to win. So our duty is to deny them victory.