The 61st PAS Muktamar drew crowds from all over Malaysia, with all willing to suffer various inconveniences and difficulties to ensure their attendance. English Section journalist Sufi Naz spoke to a number of attendees, and below were some of their comments…
Samsiah Omar, 55, from Setiawan, Perak was someone who has been going to the Muktamar without fail every year, and this year she and her family came in four cars. She had this to say: "When there is a PAS Muktamar, I will be sure to come, even if it were to be held in Kelantan. We managed to secure accommodations at a nearby homestay. We are now waiting for our children to join us. Everything is fine except for the atmosphere, I saw many more party flags in Shah Alam compared to Kuala Selangor. We must do more to show our spirit."
Mohd Syuki, 43, came from Terengganu by van, together with his 8 family members. They’ll be spending three days in Kuala Selangor till Saturday. "I spent a lot of money for this trip definitely, but to see Islam and PAS together in politics, I am willing to sacrifice," he said.
Abdul Kadir Mustakim, 57, a retired teacher from Sabak Bernam, Selangor left his house at 7.30 a.m. and arrived at the Muktamar with his three friends at 8.46 am because the traffic was quite heavy. He said "I cannot remember how many times I have been to the Muktamar. As long as it is not very far from Selangor and I do have spare time, I will come. I am happy to be here as I can then know the details of the latest issues.
For me the most important thing is the President's mandate. It helps us clarify our way towards our goal. I hope that PAS will be better onwards and will be able to hold the federal government. We have the momentum and also the mechanism. If it does not happen in my time, then maybe it will in yours (pointing his finger at journalists).
Maybe it is going to take 10 or 12 years. We must prepare our leadership from today. Look at this as a small matter and we must have faith in God’s plan too. Do not have any fear because PAS will always do what is prescribed by Allah".
Tiong Koo Yong, 60, from Tanjung Karang Selangor is the Sungai Burung PAS supporter’s chief. "I’ve come today to know the latest developments in the Muktamar. I want to know every detail. I have been in the supporter’s wing for eight years now and cannot remember how many times I have attended the Muktamar with my other Malay friends.
They are my best friends and they sparked my intention to join and I’ve known them since we were kids. I even went to Kelantan after the massive floods last year. I am glad to be here because there are no suspicions here, everyone who saw me smiled even though they talked with a different dialect compared to me.”
Ibtisam Aisyah, 10, from Pasir Mas, Kelantan said this: "I’ve come here with all of my five family members. We started the journey at 8 pm June 3 and reached Kuala Selangor at 4 am. I have been to other Muktamar before but this is my first time I’ve attended one outside of Kelantan. The ambience is quite different here without my friends. I am still tired because our journey took a long time; luckily the traffic is not heavy. I and my family members have been staying at various places before we came here. My father is a PAS youth representative for Rantau Panjang".
Abdullah Taib, 65, a government retiree from Batu Rakit, Terengganu. He said "We departed for Kuala Selangor from Terengganu at 10 pm by bus and reached here at 8.30 am. There were 40 of us. We are so happy to be here. I also attended the previous Muktamar in 2013 at Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
However, we did not attend the one in Johor last year due to the expensive bus ticket (at that time). We do not have any place to sleep yet because we just arrived. We stopped for a while at Masjid Wilayah, Kuala Lumpur for Fajr prayers.
I pray to God that everything goes on smoothly now and also afterwards. On the upcoming 14th general election, I hope that PAS wins. Since I have been eligible to vote, PAS has been my one and only choice. "
Muhammad Luqman Hakeem, 13, from Manjung, Perak. "I’ve been attending the Muktamar many times, as my father has always brought me and my family to attend it. He has gone into the stadium just now and unfortunately when we tried to enter, it was already full.
Compared to previous Muktamar in Johor, it is livelier here. The location (is) strategic and there are many more accompanying activities. I decided to take part the archery competition; have not gotten its schedule yet. Maybe it will be contested on the last day of the Muktamar.
I have been into archery since I was in standard 3. However, I am not good in my targeting and need to learn more. I had at one time, won second place in an archery competition held at the district level. I am happy to be here because I am able to befriend children from various other places too. I hope the PAS Muktamar will be smooth from start to end. "
Norhisham Mad. Nabibon, 40, is a Kuala Selangor PAS member and lives in Tanjung Keramat. He came with his son. He said: "I felt quite frustrated as I had been unable to join the PAS Youth Muktamar in Shah Alam June 3 due to work.
I always attend PAS activities whenever I am free. This is the first time the PAS Muktamar has been held in Kuala Selangor and I think this must be the most merry. I have attended last year’s Muktamar where Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang also came. There are many people of various races also here today.
I believe that more people are still on the way here now. I will be attending the Muktamar these three days and have applied for annual leave for that purpose. The people attending can gain much knowledge as we get to talk and mingle with all the PAS ulama. I am fortunate as this year’s Muktamar location is near to me. Praise be to God, I am so happy today. I sincerely hope that we will unite as true Muslims. Don't gloss on trivial matters and prioritize our goals towards victory.” - ES