HAVING recently highlighted Thaipusam celebrations in Kelantan to flex its multi-cultural credentials, PAS has leveraged the forthcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration to convey the message of unity in diversity in the state which the Islamist party has ruled for 34 years.
At the very top of its multi-racial agenda is that non-Muslim communities in Kelantan – whether they are Chinese, Siamese, Indian or Orang Asli – have never been marginalised or sidelined but instead have always been welcomed and assisted by the state government leadership.
The state’s Local Government, Housing, Health and Environment Committee chairman Hilmi Abdullah contended that when the lunar new year comes, they are also celebrated by state government leaders and representatives of the people.
In so doing, the leadership of the Kelantan state government at all levels will go down to the ground to usher in the festivity with the Chinese community whether at the state legislative, parliamentary or state level.
“Along with the Kuala Krai MP Abdul Latif Abdul Rahman and the leader of the Guchil State Legislative Action Council, we’ve attended the Yit Lan Association Open House to enliven the handing over of angpow (red packets) ceremony to senior citizens of Kuala Krai,” penned the Guchil state assemblyman posted in a recent Facebook post.
“The gift is in conjunction with the CNY which will be celebrated on Feb 10.”
In addition to the distribution of angpow to the elderly, there was also an exhibition and Chinese calligraphy art presentation at the premises of the Yit Sing Kong’s Red Temple. The programme was organised by the Kuala Krai Hakka Association in collaboration with NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and welfare associations around Kuala Krai.
Whether this is a publicity blitz or otherwise, Central PAS National Unity chairperson Dr Halimah Ali has recently pointed out the following:
- The diversity of religions and ethics such as Indian, Chinese and others was created by the same God. As Muslims, we are instructed to respect and not insult, hence we cannot destroy the houses of worship of non-Muslims.
- If we become enemies, we cannot mistreat their women folks, children or even their crops. This is Islamic justice which is already enshrined in the Quran.
- PAS has ruled Kelantan for 34 years. Non-Muslims are a minority in Kelantan. This means that even if non-Muslims do not support PAS, PAS will still win (an election). So, PAS is in a comfortable and strong position.
- Among the disputed matters, non-Muslims are permitted to eat/drink food which is forbidden for Muslims. Likewise with entertainment. Are all the needs of non-Muslims not fulfilled in Kelantan? Non-Muslims in Kelantan can sell pigs, consume pork and some even rear pigs. Likewise, they can consume alcohol but confined to their respective areas.
- Wat Photivihan or the Phothivihan Buddhist Temple in Tumpat, Kelantan is deemed Malaysia’s largest reclining Buddha with a length of 40 metres. – Jan 28, 2024