PAS is using such rhetoric that it is alienating non-Muslims from supporting Perikatan Nasional (PN) and this is also pushing Gerakan, a member of the PN, out of the opposition coalition.As such, Gerakan is experiencing internal division regarding its continued association with PN, a party member told a local news portal. The source added that some party members are unhappy with PAS’ statements targeting non-Malays and non-Muslims, fearing they could harm Gerakan’s image. However, they are reluctant to push for a coalition exit to avoid disrupting the political landscape. The party’s relationship with PAS during the 15th General Election alienated non-Malay voters but there is another wing in the party that prefers to remain with PN, thus accentuating the divide within the party. “The discontented members do not want the party to be associated with PAS,” the source revealed to Free Malaysia Today.
“Kedah Gerakan is happy to be with PN because they would be part of the state government (if PN retains Kedah).”Nevertheless, PAS seems aware of the heat it is taking with its leader’s statements against non-Muslims. Recently, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang stated that non-Malays should be grateful they were given Malaysian citizenship as not many countries would grant the same. Realising that the PAS president’s statement may hurt the feelings of non-Muslims, a leader of the party came forward to apologise if anyone was offended. Kapar MP Dr Halimah Ali, who is also a member of the PAS central committee is of the opinion that Hadi had no intention of hurting anyone and that the president of his party was only stating the facts. “I think (the statement) hurts people, especially when they already have a picture of him not being very friendly with non-Muslims. To put it in context, maybe he said it matter-of-factly. He didn’t mean to hurt people.” – July 15, 2023
Main photo credit: Malaysia Dateline