I remember being really impressed by this one speaker at the PAS Muktamar 2009 in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam.
He was a master at rhetoric: he spoke fluent, impeccable English, his gestures, pauses, and inflections were apt and effective, and his speech was utterly compelling.
For a while then I wondered who this mesmerizing guy could be. One of the more liberal, progressive Erdogans, perhaps — given the perceived ample Western influence (his English was excellent, masha-Allah)? After all, he had no janggut, no misai, no serban, no keffiyeh to indicate any semblance of (perhaps merely sartorial) conservatism. Not bad man, the people PAS have — professional, competent, and confident. Clean-shaven and smartly dressed in a dark baju Melayu with a shiny songkok and samping to boot, he looked almost Chinese to me, at least from some three hundred meters away (must’ve been his glasses and his mata sepet). Could it be? One of the Non-Muslim PAS Supporters Club people? Giving one of the opening speeches at the Muktamar? Ya Allah, change has indeed come to Malaysia!
Then I read in the program book that his name was Hasan Ali, and remembered that he was just about to betray Pakatan to become Menteri Besar of Selangor after the March 8 elections.
And then I went meeeeeh.