Khairuddin Aman Razali was sacked from two posts in PAS in recent weeks over accumulated issues that had angered party president Abdul Hadi Awang, party sources said.
One was the Kuala Nerus MP’s association with a political and Islamic movement activist whom Hadi considered an Umno agent.
Khairuddin did not only fail to heed warnings against associating with the activist, but had even taken him on a trip to Istanbul in December, to attend a conference on Palestine.
Last week, the former plantation industries and commodities minister lost his position as secretary of the PAS Syura Council.
Hadi said these were disciplinary actions against Khairuddin.
Sources said Hadi was incensed upon discovering that Khairuddin had brought the activist to the meeting in Istanbul that was also attended by Hamas.
Hadi was angry that the activist would be seen as a representative of PAS.
Hadi was angry enough to want to revoke Khairuddin’s PAS membership but other central committee members reasoned with him that doing so would put the party in worse light.
“It was blocked by other PAS central committee members because they were worried that the situation would get worse and out of control to the point of affecting the party’s image.
“They finally decided to drop Khairuddin as a central committee member and as secretary of the Shura Ulama Council,” one source said.
The activist whom Hadi considers a persona non grata is well-known among PAS members and leaders and is deemed by Hadi as being responsible for dividing the party’s leadership over ties with Umno.
Khairuddin is known as one of the PAS leaders who supports continued cooperation with Umno through Muafakat Nasional.
The activist is also controversial for allegedly misappropriating funds donated to the Palestinian cause, but is not being named as these claims have not been proven.
Hadi had warned Khairuddin that the activist is an “Umno agent”, who has tried to get PAS and Umno to work together since 2009, one source said.
“The president repeatedly asked (Khairuddin) to sever ties with the activist but Khairuddin remained in touch, including taking him to the Istanbul meeting.”
The sources said Hadi learnt about the activist’s presence at the meeting on Palestine after Hamas representatives complained about his attendance among the PAS delegation.
Hamas’ unhappiness with the activist is said to be over the allegations of misappropriation of donations to Palestinians. Although unproven, it has made the activist unwelcomed in some Islamic circles.
“Hamas was not comfortable with the activist in the meeting. So, the Hamas representative protested to Hadi,” the source said.
Another source said Khairuddin had already annoyed Hadi over other issues before the December meeting.
In March last year, Khairuddin was implicated in a leaked audio recording in which two PAS leaders discuss their dissatisfaction with Hadi.
When he lost his bid to keep his seat on the central committee in party polls in November, along with other candidates who were in favour of a pact with Umno, he denied his defeat was linked to an alleged plot to topple Hadi. He was later appointed a committee member before he was removed last month.
“There were various issues and it is not just because of the meeting in Turkey (with the activist present) that Khairuddin was dropped.
“Rather, the meeting was the trigger point leading to the decision to sack him from his leadership positions.”
Khairuddin’s removal from the PAS central committee last month took place in the same week he attended a private discussion with certain party leaders who are also pro-Umno.
The private talks were understood to be about efforts to strengthen Muafakat Nasional and also support Perikatan Nasional (PN).
The Muafakat pact, formed after Umno-Barisan Nasional lost federal power for the first time in the 2018 general election appears to be more or less dead.
No proper announcement on its end has been made, but Hadi and Umno president Zahid Hamidi have both made remarks attacking each other’s parties, while PAS is clearly throwing its lot together with Bersatu in PN as seen from the Malacca election and in the upcoming Johor polls.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man declined to comment when contacted.
Khairuddin, when contacted by The Malaysian Insight, also declined to comment about his links to the activist.
In a recent video on Facebook, he said it was not yet time for him to comment on his dismissal.
Khairuddin said the problems were internal and should be resolved within the party.
The party sources said Khairuddin may not defend the Kuala Nerus seat which he won in 2013.
“There is definitely the possibility that he will not be fielded as a candidate,” a source said. – TMI