AT A time when one would expect the young blood in PAS to be bolder and more receptive of the fact that Malaysia is Asia’s cultural melting pot, it seems that either the new generation leaders of the Islamist party are overly cautious or are gutless to openly express “Merry Christmas” to Malaysian Christians who are celebrating the religious festivity to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
For the record, the national level PAS had on Christmas eve wished “all Christian Malaysians a Merry Christmas” and hopes that the festivity “would be celebrated smoothly in a safe and harmonious environment, thus paving the way to better and meaningful days ahead”.
“As an Islamic party, PAS celebrates and is always open to such diversity, not only as a special feature of our society but also as the core of Islamic teachings which embraces such reality in the bonds of our great human family, inclusive of people of all races, cultures and religions – legally and honourably,” its secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan pointed out in a media statement. “Merry Christmas and happy holidays (to all).”
On the contrary, PAS Youth abstained from extending a Christmas greeting and instead limiting its greetings to “Happy Holidays” (which is usually extended to people who are not celebrating a particular religious festivity) and “Happy New Year”.
“May your holiday season be filled with joy, laughter and unforgettable moments spent with your loved ones,” penned the movement in a rare English-worded greeting. “Wishing you warmth, happiness, and wonderful memories as we welcome the new year ahead. Cheers to a fantastic holiday season!”
Apparently, PAS Youth’s mild greeting does not fascinate netizens who expect the young leaders at least to emulate their party veterans who might have reluctantly extended a “Merry Christmas” greeting to either win the hearts of non-Muslims or to portray the party as a non-racist entity.
“They wanted to wish but seemingly too ashamed to do so,” teased netizen Azrin Hazrina Mohd Yusoff while Ahmad Shafiqee wondered why PAS Youth refrained “from wishing Merry Christmas when party leader Takiyuddin has openly done so.”
While netizen Zulfikaar Azizi took the opportunity to wish “Merry Christmas” to all his Christian friends in Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah, Amantoya Aman described PAS’ stance with regard to extending Christmas greeting as “seasonal law” while non-Muslim Alice Lee shared that both the outgoing and incoming Agong have also extended their “Merry Christmas” greeting.
“The future Agong (Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar) has already extended his greeting. PAS (Youth) dare not wish Merry Christmas because it is afraid of having to go to hell,” she snubbed.
On the bright side, Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal has no qualm to extend his greeting of “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who celebrate it!”. – Dec 25, 2023