KUALA TERENGGANU - Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's son Muhammad Khalil wants to step out of his father's shadow as he seeks to become the party Youth wing's number two.
The 36-year-old, who is the PAS president's eldest of 11 children, stressed that he entered the party on his own merits without banking on his father's influence.
"I have been involved in PAS since my teenage years. It was my choice to do so.
"My first post was as the Rusila branch Youth chief, and then I was elected as the Marang division Youth chief.
"Later, I became the Terengganu Youth vice chief and a national exco member.
"Now, I have been nominated to contest the PAS Youth deputy chief's post. I hope members will consider me based on my own contributions and not because of my father," he said yesterday.
Muhammad Khalil is in a straight fight for the post against Raja Ahmad Iskandar Raja Yaacob.
The incumbent Youth deputy chief Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz, the son of PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, will not defend his post in the upcoming party election.
Meanwhile in Kota Baru, Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah is challenging Mohamad Sabu for the party's number two post.
He said that his decision to contest was prompted by calls from the grassroots for "the right people to be put in the right places".
"I am merely carrying out their wish to see the party get back on track to its original struggle for Islam," he said.
Mohd Amar, who is Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar, said that he would not take part in any campaign activity.
"Let the delegates decide my fate. I will not be campaigning, especially if any mudslinging or character assassination is in-volved. That is not the Islamic way," he told reporters at his office yesterday.
Mohd Amar said he only decided to contest after the favourite candidate Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man backed out to concentrate on the race for the party's three vice-president posts.