PETALING JAYA: The PAS syura council, despite being the highest decision-making body in the party, has to abide by the collective resolutions made during the yearly muktamar, says Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan.
Describing the relationship between the party’s decision-making bodies, namely the Syura council, PAS central committee and Dewan Ulama, Wan Saiful said all three were answerable to its members.
“The general muktamar elects the PAS central committee members, whereas the Dewan Ulama muktamar, commonly held together with the Dewan Muslimat and Dewan Pemuda muktamar, chooses its respective leaders.
“The Syura council is not elected. Four members from the central committee and four from Dewan Ulama are appointed to the council, which can then decide to appoint another eight members.
“This is why the Dewan Ulama is a very powerful structure within the party. By hierarchy, it is at the same level as Dewan Muslimat and Dewan Pemuda, but more influential,” he said when contacted.
Based on the party’s constitution, the Syura council’s primary role is to explain and interpret PAS policies and apply rulings on ambiguous matters, in line with Islamic laws and edicts.
The council is made up of religious figures in the party who are well-versed in Islamic teachings, and should also be spiritually pure.
It has the power to issue directives that are binding upon the rest of the party, a rule that PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has used in his favour tp reject his PKR counterpart Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor Mentri Besar.
Hadi, who detracted from the decision to support Dr Wan Azizah during a PAS central committee meeting on Aug 17, has the backing of the Syura council and Dewan Ulama in nominating a PAS candidate for the MB post.
“This is why many of the central committee members do not support and are in the dark over Hadi’s stand on this issue. It was not the decision that was agreed by the central commitee leaders.
“If the Syura council supports him, then he has the right to make such a decision. It is however debatable whether the party president has the power or prerogative to make a decision without consulting his fellow leaders,” said Wan Saiful.
Meanwhile, he said the Dewan Ulama is made up of the party’s religious scholars. Only those who have a qualification in Islamic studies can be part of the Dewan Ulama.
“The rulings and statements made by the Dewan Ulama are lower than the PAS central committee. However, they have a moral standing in the party.”
He added that it was party convention for matters to be discussed at the central committee level first before being referred upwards to the Syura council.
“However, in the case of the Selangor MB crisis, the syura council met before the central committee and threw its support behind (Tan Sri) Khalid (Ibrahim),” he added.