By G. Manimaran
PETALING JAYA, Jan 11 — PAS has endorsed draft constitution which allow its Supporters Club — the non-Muslim wing — to become a PAS Supporters Congress, effective immediately.
The new wing will be launched in April, and not the end of next month to allow for careful preparations to be made in following months.
The move to upgrade the wing appears to be additional efforts by the Islamist party to shore up support among its non-Muslim supporters, even if the congress is still seen as limited.
PAS fielded non-Muslim candidates in Election 2008.
“Today (yesterday) we have discussed and accepted the PAS Supporters Club as a congress within PAS,” said PAS vice president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man when contacted by The Malaysian Insider.
The advisor to the new congress will be another vice president, Salahuddin Ayub.
“This is great news for supporters from the Indian, Chinese, and Siamese communities in the country… because they now have an official and organised platform from which to be active in PAS,” he said.
“The will also be able to participate officially in the muktamar as special representatives,” he said.
Meanwhile, PAS National Unity Committee chairman Dr Mujahid Yusuf Rawa, who had pushed for the formation to the club, said the PAS central committee which met yesterday had agreed to accept the draft constitution, meaning the PAS Supporters Congress is now effectively an official wing.
“The draft constitution has been accepted… there will be no more readings after this.
“Efforts made after this will be to ensure that it (the congress) becomes effective at all levels,” he said.
Mujahid says his party decided to launch the congress in April and not next month to make sure everything was in place.
“We want the launch to be organised by readying for it at all levels,” he said.
The PAS Supporters Congress will have leaders at the federal, state and district levels but these will be ineligible to either stand for or elect the supreme leadership in PAS.
The club automatically became a congress when the constitution was endorsed yesterday.
Efforts to upgrade the club by giving it a constitution of its own also allows PAS’ own constitution to remain intact and free of any new amendments.
The club, which was formed in 2004, has over 20,000 members comprising various races including Indians, Chinese, Siamese, and Iban.
The new congress, when official, will be headed by a leader, who will be aided by a deputy; five vice-leaders; a secretary; an assistant secretary; a treasurer; and a committee of 18. It will also incorporate its own Youth and Women’s wings.
The PAS Supporters Congress will be formed at the national, state, and district levels but will not extend to individual branches.
The technical committee overseeing the upgrade of the Supporters Club to a formal wing as recognition of the party’s non-Muslim backing was put in place early 2009.