I refer to Malaysiakini report Non-Malay voters the decider in Bagan Pinang .
All along, we have been given the impression that PAS is Islamic extremist party. Here are some good reasons why I, as a Chinese, would vote for PAS in Bagan Pinang, especially in a situation when the contest is between BN and Pakatan or between Umno and PAS.
Here are some reasons why:
1. The BN-controlled mainstream media has painted a negative picture of PAS all along;
2. But in PAS, there are moderates like Nizar Jamaluddin (menteri besar of Perak) while in Umno, there are extremists and racists like Ahmad Ismail, with his ‘pendatang’ remarks. Ahmad was never charged for sedition, but a Sin Chew reporter was arrested under the ISA;
3. In Kelantan, PAS allows the largest Buddha statue, whereas in Selangor under Umno, no churches were allowed to be built.
When PAS’ Khalid Samad tried to solve the woes of the Indian temple in Shah Alam, by proposing to move it to Section 23, it was Umno thugs who played up the ‘cow head incident’ in Shah Alam.
PAS was the only party that came forward to condemn the cow head incident, with Khalid Samad warning that any PAS member who took part in the demonstration would face the immediate sack.
On the other hand, Umno Youth chief and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein supported the protestors from Day One while and the former Selangor menteri besar Mohd Khir Toyo continued to defend the protestors, calling the cow (sacred to the Hindus) a ‘silly cow’;
4. In Desa Aman Putri recently, PAS, in fact, sponsored the Hungry Ghost Festival. Since joining Pakatan, PAS realises that it is no longer alienated;
5. Singer Kartika Sari Dewi was convicted for drinking beer in Pekan, the home constituency of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak yet Najib did nothing to save her from the disgrace of being whipped.
This incident, which most people would have immediately linked to PAS Kelantan, did not happen in a PAS-ruled state. Instead it happened in a strong Umno-ruled state;
6. While Umno’s Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian played up racist sentiments surrounding the death of Teoh Beng Hock, I attended Teoh’s funeral in Semenyih as an observer.
What I noticed was that nearly one-third of the people who attended were either Indians or Malays from PKR and PAS. We have to cast a vote against Umno and its component parties and ask them, ‘Who told you that Teoh Beng Hock’s death was a Chinese issue?’
7. A revisit to May 13 reveals that PAS was never even involved. Only Umno. Although there were attempts to implicate PAS, the evidence is clear that the riots were mainly caused by Umno after DAP won most of the seats in Selangor.
It was also Umno which forced Tunku Abdul Rahman to step down as prime minister then.
Finally, we need a stronger platform for more check-and-balances to establish a more democratic nation.