PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang has launched a tirade against Bersih, claiming that the election watchdog has “immoral objectives” and was founded by people who supported the “reformasi” agenda to “topple the Malaysian Government”.
In a statement published on PAS mouthpiece Harakah Daily, Hadi pointed out that the “reformasi” agenda was a form of political demonstration that was “imported from abroad”, adding that this was how regimes like those in Indonesia and the Arab World had fallen.
“In Malaysia, the ‘reformasi’ slogan was used to bring down the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in an undemocratic manner by a group called Bersih with its ‘unclean’ purposes,” he wrote.
Recall, however, that Hadi had previously voiced his support for the Bersih movement and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “reformasi” movement in the early 2000s.
On this matter, Hadi was quick to point out that PAS had withdrawn from the group after an in-depth study of the Bersih movement.
“PAS withdrew from the group following an in-depth study of the movement as there are no benefits that come from clashing with the police through evil plans motivated by dirty politics that were organised by foreign parties who came to colonise Malaysia again,” he wrote.
In 2007, Bersih organised a rally in Kuala Lumpur and the PAS was one of the main parties that collaborated in the demonstration.
The rally was made successful by PAS members who were coordinating movements on the streets.
While some of the demonstrators were facing police backlash 300 metres from Istana Negara, police had to be mobilsed to stop a combined crowd of 40,000 people that stretched half-a-kilometre along a highway.
A delegation of seven individuals, including Hadi and former PAS deputy president Datuk Dr Nasharudin Mat Isa, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, and Keadilan’s Anwar were permitted entry to the palace by the police.
However, Hadi is now claiming that the PAS youth wing and other Malaysian political leaders had participated in forums outside Malaysia (neighbouring countries that he did not mention) to listen to several political leaders and intelligence officers who were invited to give lectures and hold discussions on how to bring about political change by overthrowing the existing government (in Malaysia) through a movement called “reformasi”.
Hadi did not give a clear date when did this “meeting” happen, perhaps in move to create more confusion since it was Anwar who launched the “reformasi” slogan in Malaysia after he was sacked from UMNO in 1998.
Nevertheless, Hadi’s article coincides with statements from the Bersatu Youth leader Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal who told BFM that one cannot separate religion from politics in the Malay-Muslim community.
This, he says, is due to the fact that religion is integral to the Malay-Muslim community’s political philosophy, adding that one cannot campaign in a secular manner, he told the radio station today (Dec 13).
He was asked if Perikatan Nasional (PN) would tone down its rhetoric regarding race and religion during the upcoming state elections.
On the topic of Hadi’s article, an analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity told FocusM that the article is filled with religious connotations with Bersatu also pulling itself in the same direction – that is, towards “politicising religion for electoral gains”.
According to the analyst, there appears to be a coordination between PAS and Bersatu to give more religious connotation to their campaigns in order to win more votes in the upcoming state elections. – Dec 13, 2022
Main pic credit: Bernama