- How Committed Is PAS to Democracy and How Do We Know It?
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 28, Number 3, December 2006
- pp. 385-406
- View Citation
- Additional Information
- Purchase/rental options available:
An important Islamist opposition party in Malaysia, Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), asserts its respect for democratic procedures. At the same time, PAS remains dedicated to the formation an Islamic state, even if the dimensions of this construct have not yet been specified. This article tries to gauge the extent of PAS's commitment to democracy, a task made difficult by the fact that while the party has regularly contested general elections, it has never won, thus producing no observable record of tenure in office at the national level. The analysis then turns to Malaysia's regime type and change, PAS's avoidance of anti-system strategies, the compatibilities between Islamist aims and democratic procedures, and the competitiveness of PAS's internal party elections.