SHAH ALAM: Pas’ controversial bai’ah (oath of allegiance) had long been implemented by the party as a political weapon which confused and divided Muslims.
In welcoming the decision to drop “talak tiga” divorce clause, former Pas leader Khalid Abdul Samad who is now Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) communication director, said the bai’ah was a tool used to restrain Pas leaders.
“It was introduced in Kelantan, following the fluctuating political sentiment there. The bai’ah was used to put a leash on party leaders.
“In 2008, the bai’ah was adopted in all states, except Terengganu. Later, after an internal discussion, Pas in 2013 decided to confine the practice only to Kelantan.
“Whatever it is, the bai’ah is only a political pretence and should not have been implemented,” Khalid told Berita Harian today.
The Shah Alam parliamentarian also claimed most of Pas leaders and members did not agree when the bai’ah was adopted but remained quiet to safeguard the party’s unity.
“I believe everyone will be happy with this decision, especially Pas members.”
Another former Pas leader, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, said the bai’ah had given the impression that Islam was an attenuated religion, which did not allow space for a solution.
“It is time for the ulama to think ahead. The bai’ah is too divisive. It should not have been done in the first place.
“It also turned Pas’ (leadership) arrogant, and judgmental of others.”
Under the bai’ah, Pas members who contest in elections under the party ticket are made to sign a religious pledge that they would divorce their spouses should they leave the party, while still holding positions as elected representatives.
Pas ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed said the party believes that its political clout has grown stronger over the years, and hence the bai’ah would have to be streamlined – and the “talak tiga” divorce clause in the pledge will likely be discarded.
He said that the divorce clause was included by Pas’ late spiritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat due to the party’s “severely weakened position” in Kelantan at the time.
Mahfodz was referring to Pas’ loss of a two-thirds majority in Kelantan in the 11th general election in 2004.
Meanwhile, Pas vice-president Idris Ahmad said the proposal to drop the divorce clause would have to be made through a consensus by all Syura Council members.
Idris did not rule out that the clause could be dropped and said the council had even deliberated on the “pro’s and cons” of the bai’ah at one time.
When met during Lembah Pantai Pas election funding programme, he also clarified that the “divorce clause” was only practised currently in Kelantan.
“As of now, we have yet to delve deeper into the issue but we have talked about its pro’s and cons, and we might drop the clause. But it is a decision to be made by the council,” said Idris, who is also a Syura council member.