Renegade Mahfuz finally leaves PAS after 34 years

Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar holding a mock copy of his PAS membership card after the press conference here today.

ALOR STAR: PAS’ Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar today announced he would quit as a party member, effective 11.59pm tonight, after 34 years of being a member.

Mahfuz said he would send his resignation letter to PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan.

“Today, I wish to state that, effective tonight 11.59pm, I will cease to become a PAS member,” he told a packed press conference today.

The decision is not surprising, as Mahfuz has been openly questioning the PAS leadership since party elections in 2015 which saw the purge of the so-called “progressive” faction from the party.

“All this while, I have fought from within with the hope that PAS will join Pakatan Harapan, but that phase has passed,” said Mahfuz today.

He said, his decision to leave PAS was the beginning of the “third phase”, after speaking out against his party.

“Now is the third phase, to urge PAS members to voice their support for PH.”

PAS’ Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar (in green) together with state Pakatan Harapan leaders at the press conference here today.

Mahfuz has been a PAS member since March 12, 1984.

On whether he would be joining any other political party after this, he said he would be taking some time off before making a decision that is right for the country and people.

He announced that as of tomorrow, he is an independent MP.

Mahfuz had recently expressed his gratitude to the party’s leadership for dropping him as a candidate in the upcoming 14th general election (GE14).

“I wish to thank Kedah PAS for not nominating me as a candidate.

“Even if they had, I would not have accepted the nomination as I would be seen to be betraying the people. I would’ve rejected the nomination,” he said.

Mahfuz had also told reporters previously that one did not need to leave his party to show support for PH.

He first won the Pokok Sena seat in the 1999 general election, but lost to an Umno candidate in the 2004 polls. However, he recaptured the seat in 2008 and retained it in the last election in 2013.