THE non-Malay PAS Supporters’ Assembly (DHPP) is trying to create a positive image of PAS. DHHP chairman Balasubramaniam Naciappan (main pic) thinks that those who are trying to damage the image of PAS are its political enemies.
Balasubramaniam was speaking at the PAS 69th annual assembly where he said although PAS has Islam as it core focus, there is no intention on the party to divorce itself from the non-Muslims.
The creation of the PAS’ support group or DHPP is testimony that PAS wants to bring Muslims and non-Muslims as one big family. He pointed that despite PAS’ administration in Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis, not one Hindu temple was broken.
Balasubramaniam might want to say what he wants about PAS. But the non-Muslim PAS support group is in a sad state of affairs. The non-Muslim members don’t have voting rights in the party.
DHPP merely has remote tangential attachment to the party. The very fact that the DHPP members don’t have voting rights speaks volumes of the respect that the PAS leaders have for non-Muslims.
Hindu temples demolished in Kedah
If PAS lacks the basic decency in respecting the non-Muslim members within the party, then how can PAS convince the non-Malays in the country of its altruistic multi-religious intentions in uniting both Muslims and non-Muslims?
It doesn’t take enemies of PAS to see how the party treats its own non-Muslim members. If PAS believes in religious parity, then why are non-Muslims considered as second class citizens in the country.
Two of my friends visited Kelantan and Terengganu recently on the invitation of PAS leaders. Some PAS leaders acknowledged that DHPP doesn’t do much in attracting non-Muslim support.
Most of the time they engage in apple-polishing the PAS leaders. These serious-minded PAS leaders are fully aware of their present limitations in attracting non-Muslim support.
In this respect, the non-Muslim support group is hardly any assistance. Balasubramaniam has challenged the enemies of PAS to prove whether any temples were demolished under the administration of PAS state governments.
Maybe Subramaniam is not aware but two temples one in Alor Setar and the other one in Kulim were demolished within a six-month period a few years ago.
These demolitions took place with the full knowledge of the Kedah Menteri Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor. I was involved with the local Hindu groups in unsuccessfully stopping the demolition in Alor Setar.
If Subramaniam is not aware of these demolitions, then obviously he was not updated of these two demolitions. What kind of non-Muslim support group leader is Balasubramaniam?
Balasubramaniam can do all the apple polishing he wants but at least he should open his eyes and ears to know how non-Muslims think about PAS. If PAS wants to be interested in national power, surely the party has to part with its old, outmoded thinking.
PAS must be prepared to accept diversity if non-Muslim support is essential. Rather than looking at others, there is necessity for the PAS leadership to seriously examine the party and where it had gone wrong in attracting the support of the non-Muslims.
The non-Muslim support group in PAS must first ensure that non-Muslims are given the same voting rights as Muslims. Only then, non-Muslim leaders can have the credibility and legitimacy to preach about PAS to others.
Shouldn’t charity begin within PAS before it is extended to others? – Oct 23, 2023
Former deputy chief minister II of Penang and ex-Perai state assemblyman Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy was also a former Penang Development Corporation (PDC) board member.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.