KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said today the party must set its eye on winning the opinion war now that it is part of the ruling coalition, as he rallies the youth wing to rise to the occasion ahead of a rumoured plan for early snap elections.
Speaking at the youth wing’s 66th assembly in Kelantan, where the party has ruled for three decades, Ibrahim, who is also the minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change, said he predicts more attacks against PAS on issues the party often fails to counter effectively.
Such issues include thorny topics like national unity and religion. While he was not explicit, Tuan Ibrahim suggested that PAS has done little to convince its critics that the Islamic-styled governance it fights for encapsulates the aspiration of not just Muslims but of all.
“PAS is a party that is universal in nature. Our agenda is not a racial one. Our agenda is not a religion that is exclusive only to among us but the universal nature of Islam itself that lays the foundation of the party, which is supposed to be accepted by all societies.
“But still our enemies continue to push Islamophobia,” the PAS deputy president said in his opening address.
The party also saw the growing weariness towards politics among youths as an opening to penetrate and expand its base. Tuan Ibrahim said PAS, particularly its youth wing, must attempt to sway the skeptical demographic that it stood above fractious politics that often dogs counterparts in the Opposition.
The PAS leader then suggested that the party’s decision to join Perikatan Nasional was meant to end the February political turmoil, which the ruling coalition has pinned on infighting within its predecessor Pakatan Harapan.
Tuan Ibrahim said the aftermath of the crisis saw youth confidence in the political parties plunged to record low, and to convince them to back PAS or PN entails a shift in campaigning strategies, such as focusing its resources in social media.
“The polemics have rendered youths distrustful of politics…we must be the solution to that quagmire,” he said.
“Our data has shown that the 16th election the youths will determine the outcome of the election…they constitute a new challenge,” the PAS leader added.
“We must prepare and in facing the challenges we must learn how to conquer them….among them we must learn how to manage the media, how to prepare best to manage the new media in an era where truths no longer matter.”
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