Written by Stan Lee, Politics Now!
KUALA LUMPUR (Politics Now!) – It is true – most non-Malays do dislike and distrust Pas. And these feelings have grown steadily over the past few years, reaching a point from which there may be no return as hatred for each other on both side becomes so entrenched it may become generational, passed on from one generation to the next.
But the root causes of why non-Malays fear Pas is not as Pas chief Hadi Awang so conveniently imputes it to be – Islamophobia!
Non-Malays do not dislike Islam, they may not agree with Shariah law or accept hudud – but then neither do many Muslims.
As analyst Wong Chin Huat puts it, rejection of Pas should not be equated with Islamophobia because “Islam cannot be equated with any political party”.
After all, Umno members until 2020 had rejected Pas, as did Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). Should those parties also be considered Islamophobic?
And instead of blaming rival party, the DAP, Pas should look at itself because it is now the biggest and most powerful party in the country.
“There is one party more powerful than DAP in shaping the perceptions of non-Malay voters regarding Pas. That party is none other than Pas itself,” said Chin Huat in a report for Sinar Daily.
WHEN NIK AZIZ WAS ALIVE, WHY DIDN’T NON-MALAYS HATE PAS THEN?
Indeed Pas members should reflect and question Hadi: if what you say is true, why then did the non-Malays throw their support fully behind us when Nik Aziz was alive and we were part of the Pakatan Rakyat alliance?
So when did the divergence in paths occur? Was it not after Nik Aziz died and Pas left Pakatan Rakyat?
Yes, the ‘split’ came after Pas abandoned its ‘Pas for All’ strategy – opting to shift to the extreme right and become a hardline, conservative party only for Malays and Muslims.
ISLAMOPHOBIA OR HADI-PHOBIA?
How reasonable then is Hadi to blame non-Malay fear of Pas on a phobia for Islam? It would be way more accurate to say non-Malays dislike Pas because of a phobia for him. And the radical and racist posturing of other Pas leaders close to him, such as Kedah MB Sanusi Md Nor.
For sure, Hadi supporters will rush to his defence but a look at the list of controversial and hurtful statements issued by Hadi against the non-Malays, compiled by Chin Huat, will show it’s Hadi-phobia and not Islamophobia that is keep non-Malays far way from the Pas ballot boxes.
THE FUTURE IS IN PAS’ OWN HANDS
Many non-Malays are actually hoping Hadi himself and his blue-eyed boys including Terengganu MB Samsuri Mokhtar will be reasonable and honest enough with themselves to see their own roles in chasing away the non-Malay votes.
As the Finance Twitter portal wrote – for now it may be too little and too late to expect the non-Malays to trust Hadi and Pas again. But the future is in the hands of Pas’ own leaders.
If they continue to believe they are supreme and above the non-Malays, which actually contradicts Islamic principles, and to behave as if Malaysia is not a multiracial country and only Muslims have rights than need to be respected, then Hadi and his party might as well stop begging for non-Malay support because it will never come.
“The so-called “green wave” saw Opposition Perikatan Nasional (made up of PAS, Bersatu and Gerakan) winning a whopping 74 seats in the 222-seat parliament. Yet, despite PAS winning 43 seats and 4 states – becoming the single-largest party – the Islamist extremists have been fantastically frustrated and furious for not being able to form the government. The 80% Malay votes it had won were insufficient,” wrote Finance Twitter.
“Crucially, the August six state elections and Johor by-elections (September) show the conservative Malays and green wave failed to penetrate the southern part of the country. Led by former backdoor prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, the opposition only managed to capture four of the poorest states (Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis), even though Muhyiddin’s Bersatu has zero state to rule.”
“To add salt into the wound, PAS Islamist party was not only rejected by the non-Malays but also the Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak, the majority of whom are Christian. While PAS preached that anyone who does not vote for them will go to hell, Muhyiddin showed his true colour when he spread fake news that Christians are working with Jews to Christianise Malaysia.”
“Therefore, by hook or by crook, Hadi had to make a spectacular U-turn and pretend to be “non-Muslims-friendly”. Without support from the non-Muslims, PAS cannot win the election, let alone allow the PAS president to become the next prime minister. Hadi needs to do more than just claiming that PAS had always demonstrated religious freedom.”
“The problem is the Chinese and Indian still remember clearly how Hadi said non-Muslims should be grateful that they have been given “a place” in this country – suggesting that the non-Muslims must forever “kowtow”, work like a dog and pay taxes no matter how much they are being bullied, discriminated and oppressed,”
List of controversial and hurtful remarks from Hadi, Pas leaders (compiled by Chin Huat)
On January 18, 2016, Harakah published a statement by Hadi stating that Christian evangelists were attempting to spread Christianity among the poor.
Two Christians in Sabah took this matter to court but failed to obtain a declaration. He had incited and is someone unsuitable to hold public office.
On December 25, 2017, Hadi was reported to have stated that ministerial positions should only be held by Muslims.
This statement was later cushioned to mean that non-Muslims could be ministers but only as implementers, not policy-makers.
On August 20, 2022, Hadi was reported to have stated that most bribe givers were non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras.
The police investigated this case last April, but no further action has occurred.
On May 29, the Kedah Menteri Besar from Pas, Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, claimed that Penang belonged to Kedah historically in the 18th century.
Using the same argument, Perlis, northern Perak, and Satun (a province in Thailand) are also part of Kedah, but only Penang, with its non-Malay majority, was claimed.
Written by Stan Lee, Politics Now!