KUALA LUMPUR: Pas is expected to drop its controversial divorce clause from its “bai’ah” (oath of allegiance) for party election candidates in the upcoming national polls.
Under the bai’ah, Pas members who contest in elections under the party ticket are made to sign a religious pledge that they would divorce their spouses should they leave the party, while still holding positions as elected representatives.
Pas ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed said that the party believes that its political clout has grown stronger over the years, and hence the bai’ah would have to be streamlined – and the “talak tiga” divorce clause in the pledge will likely be discarded.
He said that the divorce clause was included by Pas’s late spiritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat due to the party’s “severely weakened position” in Kelantan at the time.
Mahfodz was referring to Pas’ loss of a two-thirds majority in Kelantan in the 11th general election in 2004.
The bai’ah had originally contained only the clause “that a candidate would be damned by Allah” should he violate the pledge.
“But today, we are not in a crisis. We will streamline the bai’ah and it is likely that the divorce clause will not be included.
“Generally, the bai’ah is a pledge of loyalty to the party. Those who violate the bai’ah will be damned by Allah,” Mahfodz reiterated when contacted today.
He also defended the party’s decision to continue with its general implementation of the bai’ah.
“Bai’ah is not something extreme. It is a mechanism and an approach used since the days of Prophet Muhammad, and today, it is the best measure to prevent party members from jumping ship.
“For Pas, the bai’ah is a mechanism to inculcate awareness among Pas’s elected representatives that they won their race not by themselves, but thanks to the party,” he added.
Previously, Kedah Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) deputy chairman Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi claimed that the bai’ah’s divorce clause is “extreme” in nature.