Non-Muslims ask: Is PAS becoming more moderate or extreme under Hadi?

SOME may claim that the “Green Wave” is the new bogeyman used by the Madani government to scare away voters from Perikatan Nasional (PN), a coalition which teams up the Islamist party, Bersatu and Gerakan.

Based on the responses received from our article over the weekend entitled “Is Hadi a Moderate Leader? Can His Own Credentials Prove That?”, the “Green Wave” does not really have to be the bogeyman as most non-Muslims appear to be not in favour of PAS. The reasons are aplenty and here are some of them based on feedback received.

Point 1. PN leaders, including PAS president, Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, are always babbling about toppling the federal government.

Although this is a borrowed script from former twice premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is well-known for his successful attempts to topple a few of his successors in the past, most democratic Malaysians cannot stomach another change of government before the full-term ends.

Point 2. A Kelantan-born Chinese – although raised in Kuala Lumpur – spoke to this writer on condition of anonymity what she knows from her friends and relatives in the PAS-rule state that there is indeed a difference between the late PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and the present PAS head honcho Hadi.

“Previously, Nik Aziz visited Chinese homes and he would not impose the Islamic values on them,” she said. “However, now, the situation has changed.”

She further pointed out that these days, Muslims in Kelantan want the non-Muslims to follow their set of values. “Although unhappy, most non-Muslims choose to remain silent,” she added.

A good case in point is the shop assistant’s shorts which sparked a major controversy nationwide after the shop owner was issued a compound for the way the assistant dressed himself.

She elaborated: “Most Malaysians may not realise it that shops in Kelantan cannot operate at 7pm, because of the Maghrib (evening) prayers. Anyone, including restaurants, found operating the business would be issued a compound.”

Point 3: Another netizen asked, “What about his recent remarks (by Hadi) that non-Muslims are the perpetrators of corruption? What about his outburst against the ‘infidels’?”

As one “Disenchanted Malaysian” has put it in his letter to the FocusM editor, investigation of Aman Palestine and some RM70 mil it had collected is a slap on Hadi’s face. The Palestinian ambassador has also mentioned that the collected money never went to help the Palestinians or reached the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

This letter represents the general non-Muslims’ attitude towards PAS leadership and its party ideology even before the so-called Green Waves.

Point 4: The issues raised by PAS in the Dewan Rakyat are far from what most Malaysians expect of the Islamist party. All that its lawmakers – including the party’s deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man – is able to raise in Parliament are insignificant matters such as promoting polygamy.

This has led to strong reactions against PAS. Sisters in Islam has hit the nail on the head with the civil society non-governmental organisation (NGO) claiming that PAS leaders are fixated on polygamy but have no clue about managing the country’s economy.

After all, the Kubang Kerian MP’s offer of a solution for the 8.4 million Malaysian unmarried women is simply to encourage Muslim men to have two or up to four wives. Besides Sisters in Islam, a TikToker, has also lashed out at the former Kelantan menteri besar whom he nicknamed Menteri Nikah Kahwin Moden (Minister of Modern Marriage). Below is the take of Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh:

PAS is bankrupt of ideas on how to rebuild the country’s economy, what’s more to run the country. Instead, the party is viewed as on the overdrive to turn the country into a Taliban-like controlled state with its views and values being imposed on all Malaysians.

Malaysia is multi-cultural

 The view of multi-culturalism is well-articulated by a young social media influencer who speaks good English as a Malay himself, dismissing a PAS leader’s daughter Aisyah’s assertion that “clubbing, drinking, partying, has never been Malaysian culture.”

The idea of Malaysia is only for the Malays is not an original PAS idea but borrowed from the now Proklamasi Melayu chief advocate Dr Mahathir who has in recent time endeared himself to both PAS and the PN coalition.

At the same time, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s answer in disputing the elderly statesman during a public interview sent the Singaporean audience in stitches when he shared that the nonagenarian even lost his deposit when contesting in Langkawi during the 15th General Election (GE15) last year.

“He is only trying to remain relevant but I don’t think we should take him very seriously,” Anwar said to the applause of most people in the audience.

The inability of PAS leaders to assess the nation of Malaysia as a multi-cultural state will cost them and the PN coalition a lot of non-Muslim votes. Merely parroting the descendant of a Kerala migrant will not earn PAS the support of Malaysians at large. – Nov 28, 2023

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