Seminar: AMANAH: A Game-Changer in Malay-Muslim Politics
About the Seminar
Will the newly formed opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) be able to wrestle the Federal government from the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN)? Considering Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) is now no longer in the opposition pact, will Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH) – an offshoot of PAS – be able to fill the vacuum left by the first party to win the hearts and minds of the Malay-Muslim electorate? This is an important question to analyse, given that Islam is a key element in Malaysian politics. The success of any political pact in Malaysia hinges on its ability to articulate political ideas and public policies without upsetting the Malay-Muslim psyche.
AMANAH therefore has an important role to play in, at least, two aspects. First, AMANAH plays a role in challenging the narrative of political Islam as envisaged by the current leadership of PAS that calls for Malay-Muslim dominance in the political sphere. By offering an alternative narrative of political Islam grounded on the maqasid shariah (the higher objectives of the Shariah) and the notion of rahmatan lil ‘alamin (mercy to all), AMANAH is able to convince the Malay-Muslim electorate that Islam remains a significant aspect of Pakatan Harapan’s political agenda. Secondly, AMANAH has a role in promoting a version of political Islam that is capable of maintaining a just and democratic Malaysia.
Despite the challenges – AMANAH is optimistic that it has a bright future in Malaysian politics. There is a steady stream of new membership applications nationwide, the majority of which – surprisingly – come from states considered as PAS strongholds such as Kelantan, Kedah and Selangor. Thus far, AMANAH has managed to establish party branches in 160 out of 222 parliamentary constituencies across Malaysia.
About the Speaker
Salahuddin Ayub was a former member of the federal parliament for two consecutive terms (2004-2013). Until 2015, he was a member of Parti Islam
Se-Malaysia (PAS). Over more than 30 years, he was elected to various positions in the party, such as the Youth Wing Head and, prior to his departure, Party
In 2015, together with other former leaders of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), Salahuddin founded Parti Amanah Negara (AMANAH), and he is currently the Party’s Deputy President.