By : Iskandar Dzulkarnain
PAS has always been a grossly misunderstood political party despite its alliance with the Pakatan Rakyat.
For umpteen years it has suffered from the BN controlled media’s portrayal of it as a radical and fanatical organisation bent on turning this country into a Taliban state. So, while Umno is struggling to take the country forward into the future, PAS would take the country back in time if it ever came to power.
Non-Malays used to avoid PAS like the plague, until Malaysians became aware that PAS members were our everyday fervent God-fearing Muslims who cared for the nation. They were our friendly next door neighbours who would take the trouble to invite the other races to a waterfall picnic and lavish them with ketupat and home cooked chicken curry.
In short, they turned out to be the average moderate Malays that we come across every day. And no, they are not a threat to our multi-cultural diversity.
But being fervent Muslims, it was natural for them to want hudud and other divine laws for Kelantan, which they rule. Good Muslims nationwide see no reason to reject these laws.
All the horror and negativity towards hudud were played up and magnified to the maximum by the mainstream media, bent as they are on creating fear and division.
PAS’s intention to implement hudud is not an attempt to control the minds of Muslims but to create a just and conducive society for Kelantanese to practise a godly life. We don’t know about the Christians, Buddhist or Hindus, but good Muslims would see it as a joy to be governed by Islamic laws.
Unlike PKR and DAP, which harbour ambition to take over the Federal Government, PAS is quite contented being a regional party governing Kelantan or Terengganu, which are their strongholds. They are lending support to the Pakatan Rakyat because they want to see a just and democratic government.
Years of brainwashing by the mainstream media have conditioned non-Malays to perceive PAS as a nefarious threat with a dark agenda, confusing it with the radical NGOs that misuse religion to justify their pathetic existence. The Malays, however, see PAS as the true face of Muslims.
But in any organisation, including PAS, which boasts one million members, there will always be the odd member who thinks the world revolves around him and who will make statements that mainstream media will pounce on.
And there will be moles, leeches and parasites in every party and PAS has not been spared either.
PAS should seriously stop emulating Umno in its fight to uphold Islam. It should stop reacting every time Umno pushes the hudud button. It should instead carry out a comprehensive programme of educating the public about hudud before even thinking of implementing it.
Meanwhile it should continue pushing for a welfare state, which has gained nationwide acceptance.
PAS must understand that the non-Malays are genuinely afraid of creeping Islamisation, thinking that it will affect their way of life and take away their freedom.
Furthermore, the thought that Malaysia would be governed by two sets of laws contradicting each other isn’t very comforting.
PAS must impress on all Malaysians that it subscribes to the belief that we are all bona fide Malaysian citizens, regardless of race, religion or creed, and equal before the law. Religion must play its role in the background for Malaysia to achieve democratic maturity. PAS must declare that Malay supremacy is a fallacy and that it will uphold the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
PAS needs the trust and support of all Malaysians and not rely on the strength of its one million members alone. Malaysians need to put their fears behind and look up to PAS as a pillar of strength in the Pakatan Rakyat.
Recent events like the “Allah” ruling, body snatching, confiscation of holy books, raids on weddings and funerals and unilateral child conversions have heavily spooked the non-Malays. So, it was gallant of PAS to come out and call for the neutering of Mais.
The backlash was instant,with Perkasa calling for the heads of four PAS MPs to be chopped off. Er… sorry, it said it actually called for their political careers to be chopped off.
And now MCA has resumed its attacks on PAS with one Dato’ Chai accusing PAS members of being involved in the ISIL jihad struggle.
PAS should switch to attack mode to dispel all the false accusations levelled at the party.
We know PAS is busy governing Kelantan while dodging the flaming arrows aimed by BN, but the time has come for PAS to start flexing its muscles. The ulamaks and Erdogans in PAS must close ranks and start giving BN a run for their money.
PAS’ most important mission is not only to lead the Malay Muslims forward into the uncharted future but also to work alongside the Pakatan Rakyat to lead the nation out of its misery and propel it forward towards a bright and prosperous future.