Hadi mounts charm offensive with heartfelt CNY message in 4 languages

PAS is going all out to woo the non-Malays with party president Tan Sri Hadi Awang today issuing a Chinese New Year (CNY) greeting in four languages which is believed to be an unprecedented move.

Written in Malay, Mandarin, English and Tamil, the Marang MP said it was also important for Malaysians who live in a multi-racial society to understand each other’s cultures by visiting one another and respecting each other so that they could continue to live in a harmonious and joyful atmosphere.

“I myself continue to learn about the cultures and practices of other communities in Malaysia,” wrote the 76-year-old Islamist cleric.

Through its governance in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis, Hadi contended that PAS has successfully shown that religious freedom for other faiths was not obstructed, places of worship were not demolished and economic activities were not restricted.

PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang and his family members donning red outfits to symbolise prosperity in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration

He went on to claim that the party has allowed non-Muslims to live peacefully and prosperously under PAS administration with the rights to religious and other freedoms.

“Islam which is the guiding principle of PAS, guarantees justice, peace and well-being for all races and religions in this country. PAS holds to the concept of no compulsion in religion even when Islam is in full authority,” Hadi further penned.

The decision of the controversial Islamist cleric to issue his festive greeting-cum-statement in four languages is a marked departure from past practices where the party had mostly sent its media releases only in Malay.

The reconciliatory tone also reflected the party’s intention to reach out to the non-Malays who have traditionally shunned PAS.

During the Nov 19, 2022 15th General Election (GE15) and the Aug 12 six states polls last August, Perikatan Nasional (PN) in which PAS is a component party had made huge inroads among the Malay electorate.

PAS unity bureau chairperson Dr Halimah Ali (middle) presented CNY hampers to staff of Chinese media in Klang

But the coalition’s bid to re-capture Putrajaya and Pakatan Harapan (PH)-held state governments were stymied by the non-Malays’ reluctance to support the Malay-dominated PN due to fears of extreme Islamism.

During the party’s muktamar last October, Hadi had called on party members to reach out to non-Malay voters in the run-up to GE16 which must be called by 2028.

Insisting that the Islamist party always supports the ideology of “’PAS for All”, PAS unity bureau chairperson Dr Halimah Ali who is also Kapar MP has said that the party wants non-Muslims to consider the Islamist party as their #1 pick by 2030. – Feb 8, 2024

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