Malaysiakini Letter

'We cannot trust PAS'

Arvin Kalam Pereira  |  Published:  |  Modified:

PAS' track record since the March 8 election and its recent position with regards to the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting CEO of PKNS has shown up the true racial character of the party.

Just after the election, based on some flimsy racial and religious arguments, PAS objected to the proposal by PKR and DAP to appoint a non-Malay as deputy menteri besar both in Perak and Selangor.

This was followed by PAS-led Kedah barring women from performing in public - an act that went against PAS' own election manifesto.

If one were to describe this breach of its election manifesto as a serious breach of ethics by PAS, it pales in significance to the top secret rendezvous PAS had with Umno in the wee hours after the March 8 election in what some analysts describe as an attempt by PAS to form a coalition with Umno in Perak and Selangor.

This can only be described as a stab in the back by PAS to its other coalition partners - an act more vile than the stabbing of Julius Caesar by Brutus and company. Now, to take the cake, PAS has publicly objected to the appointment of Low as acting CEO of PKNS - an objection based solely and only on the basis of her race - so said PAS Selangor after acknowledging that her capabilities were not in question.

These developments pose two fundamental questions to all Malaysians. The first question is can PAS be trusted in office after gaining power at the federal level in the next elections as part of Pakatan Rakyat? The second question is, is PAS a replica of Umno?

Now, the answer to the first question, can PAS be trusted, has to be a resounding ‘no’. The reasons are many fold. For one, how can you trust a party that says one thing during an election and does another thing after that?

In rally after rally, PAS said PAS Untuk Semua (PAS for everyone) meaning all Malaysians. Is Low not a Malaysian? How could you say you represent all and then say a Chinese cannot be an acting CEO - even for a year?

Blatant racialism from a party that says all humans have come from one source - Adam and Eve. All these statements after so many non-Malays had voted for PAS even in non-Malay constituencies like Kota Raja based on the promise to us that PAS is ‘for all Malaysians’.

Now to the second question, is PAS a replica of Umno? To answer this, one has to give a resounding ‘yes’. The reason? PAS believes in Ketuanan Melayu and so does Umno.

Umno is against Low’s appointment, PAS is against Low’s appointment too. Umno says ‘no’ to a non-Malay as deputy menteri besar, PAS says the same too. No one was in talks with Umno, not DAP, not PKR. Only PAS.

They are still in secret talks. Umno files trumped-up charges against Anwar and PAS was still in talks with Umno. Umno said that the Sept 16 takeover was a ‘mirage’, Terengganu PAS said the same. We can go on and on.

So where does this leave us, we Chinese, Indians and Malays who had voted for PAS on its promise that it has matured into a moderate and ethical multi-racial Islamic party. We need to send a loud and clear message on our dissatisfaction to PKR and to a lesser degree DAP as well as to all Malaysian voters

Message number one - do not place PAS candidates in large multi-racial constituencies like Kota Raja or else we will spoil our votes in the next election and BN will end up as the winners. Place PAS in areas that have 70 to 80% Malays and let them try their luck there.

PKR must contest all the multi-racial seats. We cannot trust PAS. After the election they may hold us to ransom and dictate that their support to the formation of a government will only be on the basis of an Islamic state with hudud laws - irrespective of what their election manifesto says.

They have proven to us that they cannot be trusted. This will indeed happen. If PKR and DAP refuse their demands, they may just team up with Umno and form the government - another betrayal.

Message number two - do not give PAS enough seats in the next elections for them to be able to become a ‘king-maker’ as Abdul Hadi Awang has indicated. If Pakatan members end up giving in then it is for the electorate to reject PAS in many areas so that they do not become a ‘king-maker’.

Finally, large sections of the Indian community are following PAS with the same blind allegiance that they showed to MIC and Samy Vellu in the past. They are in complete denial of what PAS is doing.

PAS is craftily exploiting this blind loyalty of the Indians and giving them peanuts by making them member of PAS Supporters Club. A failure to open the eyes of these Indians would result in the community being marginalised again and being left behind for another 50 more years - this time for supporting PAS

If PAS if ‘for all’ as they claim, why not allow Indians and Chinese as full members of the party like the Malays and Muslims? The proof of the pudding is in the eating - the proof of inclusiveness lies in Indians and Chinese being made full members of PAS and being able to stand for PAS party elections and being able to vote. Anything less is just a sham.

So the answer to the ultimate question, is PAS actually Umno with an Islamic tag? The answer is ‘yes’ but with the ‘but’ - but it is worse than Umno. Why? Because Umno does not camouflage itself, it says what it stands for.

PAS on the other hand says one things and does another thing. PAS is a political chameleon, nothing more nothing less. A party that is just like the lizard that changes its colour to suit its environment - just to survive.

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