SO, we now know that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang believes that only Muslims can be in the Cabinet in any Muslim country, and that those of other faiths can play only supporting roles.
We also know how to deal with bigots, racists and those who have disdain for those who don’t share their beliefs or skin colour.
We simply reject them. We don’t debate with them. We don’t tolerate them. We don’t make excuses for them.
We just reject the likes of Hadi who believe that non-Muslims must be relegated to second-class status in this country of their birth.
The PAS president’s collaborators include his party men, and those friendly to the party, such as Prime Minister Najib Razak and a few Umno politicians.
Should we treat them with the same opprobrium with which we treat Hadi? Should we assign Hadi’s blinkered and bigoted views on politics to them?
So, should we be concerned that Hadi’s views will be embraced by the next Umno government, given that he and his party are being touted as Najib’s trump card in the next general election?
If Najib and his ilk do not slam Hadi and distance themselves from racist views, can we take it that they also think like him? Thus far, only MIC, MCA and Gerakan have come out to criticise Hadi, but not anyone from Umno.
Over the past 12 months, Najib and Hadi have become close friends. In the next election, Najib’s Umno and Hadi’s PAS will team up unofficially.
We know who Hadi is and what he stands for.
Question: how should we deal with the PAS president’s collaborators?
Shocking that PM hasn’t condemned Hadi, says MP
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s view that the Cabinet should comprise only Muslims is against the intention of Malaysia’s forefathers, said DAP lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh.
The Bukit Gelugor MP said Hadi’s opinion was far-reaching, and all parties, regardless of political affiliation, must protest strongly against it.
“Anything less can threaten the very foundation on which this country is built.
“It is for this reason that it is shocking to note that the prime minister has not openly condemned Hadi. And neither has any Barisan Nasional component party, such as MCA, MIC and Gerakan.
Hadi, in his column in PAS mouthpiece Harakahdaily on Friday, said Islam required that a nation’s leader and its Cabinet members be Muslims from the most influential race.
He said Islam also recognised the rights of non-Muslims in politics, the economy and other aspects of life.
In politics, he said, Islam stressed that the main leadership in charge of policies must comprise Muslims, while non-Muslims were accepted in roles of management and expertise.
Ramkarpal said Hadi’s remark that the role of non-Muslims in the Cabinet ought to be limited had been “rightly condemned” by many.
He said such a remark could be seen as an attempt at rewriting the Federal Constitution, which has long recognised Cabinet members as being of equal status.
“There is nothing expressly stated in the Constitution to suggest, as Hadi suggests, that the Cabinet should be exclusively Malay, or that non-Muslim Cabinet members should play a limited role.
“There can be no doubt that Hadi is legally wrong in his opinion, as since independence, Malaysia has enjoyed a multicultural government, which includes an actively multicultural Cabinet. ”
Ramkarpal, a lawyer by profession, said this argument was strengthened by the fact that Malaysia was a secular country.
He said the country was declared secular in a decision by the Supreme Court, presided by former lord president Salleh Abas, a PAS member.
He said the declaration by the highest court in the land held to this day.
“Such secularism must, by its very nature, exclude any hint of an exclusively Malay Cabinet.”
Earlier today, PAS denied that Hadi, who has been slammed for his “Malay-Muslim Cabinet” statement, had made such a remark.
PAS information chief Nasruddin Hassan, in a statement, also denied a New Straits Times report, titled “PAS president: All-Malay cabinet members for Malaysia”.
He said Hadi never said in his Harakahdaily article that all Cabinet members must be Malay Muslims.
“PAS stresses the importance and need for Malay Muslims (the prime minister as the ‘Wazirul Tafwid’) to be the core of the political system and administration, according to the understanding of Islamic politics.
“Hadi also recognises the position and role of non-Muslims in a government.
“Here, it is clear that the message Hadi wants to put forward is that Islam is very open to accepting the appointments of non-Muslims as Cabinet ministers, compared with the modern political party system that only accepts those who are of the same ideology. ”
He said Hadi’s remark that a nation’s leader and its Cabinet members must be Muslims from the most influential race “did not mean all Cabinet members”.
“He meant to say that for certain ministries, the minister must be Muslim…. This is according to ‘Wizarah al-Tafwidh’ and ‘Wizarah al-Tanfiz’.
“I hope there are no parties deliberately trying to create misunderstanding and manipulate PAS’ true stand and attitude regarding this matter, because PAS understands very well the multiracial reality of this country.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT