KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 – PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who has been attacked by party members for supposedly leading a campaign against his party president, rebuffed such claims today by telling how he had campaigned for Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the general election. Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, said he had even campaigned for ulama leader Nasrudin Hassan, when the latter stood for the Temerloh seat last year. Nasrudin is considered an influential voice among the party’s conservatives with whom Mat Sabu had also disagreed. Mat Sabu said he had helped Hadi in the latter’s bid for the Marang parliamentary seat in Terengganu. Hadi had been trailing behind the Umno candidate and was at risk of losing.
“When I heard that Nasrudin was having difficulty getting support from Chinese voters, I went down to speak to them and brought Nasrudin along to tell them that this is our (Pakatan Rakyat) candidate. Please vote for him,” said Mat Sabu. In the end, Mat Sabu said, Hadi and Nasrudin managed to win while he lost in the Pendang constituency. “They say I’m trying to bring down the president. But when I heard our president was going to lose Marang, I went up to Terengganu to do what I could. “I could not accept the idea that our president could lose. At the same time I could not accept that our former youth chief (Nasrudin) was going to lose either.
“I disagreed with Nasrudin in the past, but I could not just let him lose. So I helped him. In the end I lost, but that’s okay,” said Mohamad. Mohamad had been the focus of ire for the conservatives in PAS, from the youth wing to the ulama (Muslim scholars) to division leaders throughout the main assembly. He was accused of mounting a campaign against Hadi after questioning the latter’s decision in the Selangor menteri besar crisis. During the youth assembly where he gave the opening speech, groups of delegates walked out on him as a form of protest. Mohamad said although he had been in the party a long time and had a lot of experience in being criticised, he was still slighted by the charges of him scheming against the president. “I am still a human being after all, not made of plastic.”