PAS under its previous presidents was never exclusive. They reflected the kinder and gentler face of Islam. Their policies were based on fairness and compassion.
But the party under Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is a far cry from what it used to be when Islam was projected as a way of life.
Hadi is oblivious to the fact that Malaysia is a plural society; he is apparently unmindful of the fact that Malaysia is a multi-cultural nation.
It is bewildering to Malaysians when he recently claimed “that G25 was more dangerous than Al-Maunah”, the militant group that sparked a major security alert 20 years ago in 2000 after they raided a military armoury.
How can he claim that Al-Maunah is less dangerous when their history was one of violence and murder? They took four hostages and killed two of them – a policeman and a soldier – before surrendering. It was a cold-blooded murder – how could Hadi overlook this evil deed and brand G25, a grouping of retired top civil servants, as dangerous – worse than Al-Maunah?
G25 in their recently released report on “Administration of Matters Pertaining to Islam”, observed in their wisdom that a Muslim’s decision to leave Islam was a personal one, and questioned the legality of the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the National Council for Islamic Affairs.
They are entitled to their view. Their detractors could refute in a sane and sensible manner by rebutting point for point.
Hadi accused G25 of insulting state muftis and religious advisers to the rulers, saying the group was insinuating that they did not understand the Federal Constitution.
Did G25 actually insult the muftis and advisers to the rulers? Did G25 in any way insinuate that these religious personages did not understand the Federal Constitution?
Why drag in the rulers when G25 had no issue with them? It is done with the obvious intention to rile up the Malays. Knowing how closely the rulers are identified with the Malays, it was a deliberate attempt to work up sentiments against a group that is composed of Malay intellectuals by dragging in the rulers. Any reasonable and logical argument to expose what is wrong is seen as antithesis to PAS. They cannot tolerate this.
Any opening of the mind through logical arguments, any reasoning to establish the truth will spell the end for PAS. That is why Hadi views them as “a threat”. Those who have been brainwashed would discover the truth which would threaten support for Hadi and his party.
As far as understanding the Federal Constitution is concerned, very few can hold up a candle to the respected members of G25. They are highly respected and knowledgeable individuals who care for truth and justice, and mean well for the nation. They have no axe to grind. They have no hidden agenda to promote themselves. They are not out to profit themselves.
Only the narrow-minded bigots with their own political agenda will oppose them and brand them as dangerous. They will demean and demonise G25 because G25 are perceived as enemies who may eventually rescue the ordinary Malays from the stranglehold that PAS exerts on them to retain their political power.
To hang on to his political power, Hadi must propagate views that are devoid of logic and compassion. To do this ... the fear of the hereafter is magnified.
Recently, in a veiled suggestion, he proposed the formation of a “Pakatan National” unity government “to bring the country back to its original path. However, it must follow the principles of democracy.”
Well, “if going back to the original path” is referred to our beginning as a nation on attaining Merdeka or Independence, there is no quarrel. It would mean a path founded on tolerance and compassion, fairness and justice, a live-and-let live policy and inclusiveness that embraced every one as citizens – we support this enthusiastically. It is unfortunate that we have veered away from this path because of the greed and selfishness of opportunistic politicians that thwarted this path for their selfish gains.
It is interesting to note that Hadi insists that we must “follow the principles of democracy.” Is he blind to the fact that it was because we followed the principles of democracy that Barisan Nasional was rejected by the people to bring about a new government based on a democratic election on May 9, 2018? It was this democratic process that inflicted such a loss to PAS and the other minions of BN.
What is Hadi crowing about democracy and the original path when that was what the people had decided on in the GE14?
His devious intention is couched in democracy and the original path. What he actually aspires for is something else. He cannot fool thinking people.
He falsely claims that Pakatan Harapan is “dominated by non-Muslims”. There is no truth whatsoever to this absurd claim. In a 27-member Cabinet, there are 16 Malays. Out of the 27 deputy ministers, there are 19 Malays. This being the case, how can he claim that the non-Malays are dominating the Cabinet? Can a minority of non-Malays overwhelm the majority Malays? This is ludicrous.
He has misled his supporters and aroused anger and hatred against others. What does Islam say about lying and promoting hatred?
He insists: “We see the political power of the Malay-Muslims threatened because Harapan is dominated by non-Muslims.”
Hadi is on record delivering a warning to Muslims to place their trust in Muslim leaders regardless of their wickedness, claiming that believers will end up in hell if led by non-Muslims.
Isn’t it a common belief that a place is assured in heaven for a person who is just and honest, compassionate and trustworthy, a man of integrity who does what is good and fair and his deed is honourable?
In a lengthy opinion piece titled Rule of Law: Where is Allah?, the PAS president had stressed the importance of religion in keeping the law, and the importance for Islam to reign supreme in the governance of the country.
“If the one leading is a Muslim, even if he were cruel, at least (others) can become cattle herders,” the Marang MP wrote. “But if the one who leads is a non-Muslim, even if he were the kindest, (others) can work however they wish (but) without any limits of what is ‘halal’ and ‘haram’ they will still end up in hell.”
In other words, Hadi is claiming that heaven is guaranteed for the Muslim even though he may be wicked and cruel, but a place in heaven is denied to the non-Muslim even if he was a decent, God-fearing person of exemplary character. He is contending that hell is for non-Muslims. Is Hadi the gatekeeper at the doors of heaven?
Hadi has long been a proponent of Malay-Muslim rule. In 2017, he pointed out that Malaysia should be led by the Malay-Muslims as they are the dominant community, and advocated an all-Muslim Cabinet with full powers to formulate policies.
This stand by Hadi was soundly chastised and condemned in my article on Dec 30, 2017.
Hadi and PAS are a real threat to our national harmony and unity. The Pakatan Harapan government must investigate his provocative statements and false claims and take the necessary action to preserve our stability and peace.
P. Ramakrishnan was formerly president of Aliran. Comments: email@example.com