Saturday, 17 January 2009

Non Muslim Fear Pas Hudud

A customer recently pointed out to me that the issue of implementing Hudud by the PAS top leadership has put non muslim voters who voted for them in the last general election agitated. He further pointed out that a webblog Malaysia Unplug has categorically warned PAS of the adverse reaction if PAS leadership continue fanning this issue in the wake of the Kuala Trengganu by-election. “Simply said, PAS top leadership should get its act together immediately. And the PAS leadership should heed fully the advice of Dr.Dzulkefli Ahmad, the director of PAS Research Center. Until and unless it does so, we would still stand by our view that PAS should be denied a vote to send a candidate to the Federal Parliament in any election, including the coming Kuala Trengganu by-election” wrote Malaysian Unplug . The web site also posted a quote by Dr Zulkifly Ahmad.

".. Despite our constant reminders to all party leaders not to shoot ourselves in our own feet, I know the temptation is just too great -- especially when challenged in our own turf, in our own constituency, and in front of our own party members.

It is not that they (UMNO/Barisan Nasional) are very smart but rather it’s just that we, PAS, are less savvy and keep doing the wrong thing.

We could have cleverly avoided this polemic and not get trapped into the Hudud controversy, yet again. The question asked was: Would Pakatan Rakyat implement the Hudud law when they take over the Federal Government? YB Husam could have answered that it is for Pakatan Rakyat’s top leadership to decide, and his opinion is immaterial to the decision.

Given the demographic make-up of the Malaysian voters -- a scenario of 60:40 Malays-Muslims versus Non-Malays-Non-Muslims -- an issue like the Islamic State or Hudud is surely a “Double-Edged” sword for a party like PAS.

The party think-tank was firm and relentless in making sure that PAS’s message is inclusive, comprehensible and appealing. Hence, we came with a manifesto “A Clean and Trustworthy Government - A Nation of Care and Opportunity”. And we came up with the tag-line - “PAS for All”. Yes, we benefited because we knew what to say and how to say it.

I must admit it is tough, especially when, time and again, we are caught by our own rhetoric and perceived as inconsistent and always taking a ‘flip-flop’ position.

PAS leaders and members must learn how to exercise restrain and tact. This is extremely crucial.

PAS needs the support of the non-Malays-non-Muslims. We can’t make it with just Malay-Muslim support. This, no one can deny. Not even PAS thinks it can make it with just Malay-Muslim support. Yet we keep saying the wrong things, much to our own detriment.

While PAS may be in a position to win a few states, even on their own, PAS is nowhere close to getting power on our own at Federal level. The question of PAS taking the federal government is academic and hypothetical, given Malaysia’s demographic make-up."
-Dr. Dzulkefli Ahmad

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