I refer to Arbibi Arshoy's recent letter Islamic alternative vs oppressive laws where he states that "Muslims want a clean and corruption-free government. But non-Muslims do not want Islamic clerics running the country because of Islamophobia and a belief in Western propaganda".
As far as I know, non-Muslims want a clean and corruption-free government just as much as their Muslim compatriots. In fact, a clean, transparent and just government that ensures equal rights to all Malaysians, without the current institutionalised racism and blatant (but unofficial) discrimination, would be right up their alley.
Some non-Muslims would have no problem with Islamic clerics running the country but the majority are wary not because of Western propaganda, but because of what has happened in our own backyard. The PAS-led government in Kelantan has imposed many restrictions (eg. banning wayang kulit, separation of the sexes in check-out counters and cinemas) since it's been in power. What's to stop them from doing so (and more) if they ever form the federal government? They've stated numerous times that they intend to implement hudud law. Where does stoning of women fit in our society?
Also, the present government can barely control the activities of the various state (and FT) 'Jabatan Islam' enforcers who act as if they are a law unto themselves. I shudder to think what they would be up to next if our very own Islamic party came into power.
But I agree with the author that our former colonial masters were responsible for our Malay, Chinese and Indian identities in their divide-and-rule policies. However, it is blatantly obvious that a PAS-led government would divide us into Muslims and non-Muslims, more so than the present government already has.
Will PAS repeal the ISA if it ever came into power? It probably would at first, as it has previously stated. What happens then when mass protests occur after it moves to push through radical changes in our society? My guess is it will probably come up with something similar to the ISA in order to enforce law and order.
Whatever happened to our tolerant society of the past? P Ramlee used to act in movies that showed him sipping whiskey from a glass. Malay (and by default Muslim) men and women were depicted on-screen dancing with each other. And this was all not so far back in the 60s! I'm not asking for full-blown nudity on screen, but why have we regressed so much that homosexuals (remember Imuda's character in "2 campur 1"?) and alcohol consumption can't even be depicted in Malay films anymore, even though they obviously occur in the real world.
I apologise for my rambling and if my message is somewhat fragmented. What I'm trying to get at is that non-Muslims believe the threat posed by PAS is very real not because of Western propaganda, but of a true fear of radical Islamisation of Malaysian society based on what is already happening as Umno and PAS try to out-Islamise each other.
If PKR and DAP can't cooperate and come up with a viable alternative to BN (why don't we have shadow ministers in our opposition?), I'm afraid we're all stuck in this cycle of corruption and cronyism for a little while longer.