The hudud issue may not be a big hit in Permatang Pauh but Umno continues to woo Malay voters by misleading remarks that DAP was planning to form a Christian state in Penang.
While Umno is at it, the party’s ally, MCA is heard striking fear in the hearts of Chinese voters that the DAP had colluded with PAS and that led to the implementation of hudud law in Kelantan.
In a ceramah in Guar Perahu, pro-Umno Ustaz Rujhan Abdul Rahman showed newspaper clips of a front-page report of Utusan Malaysia which claimed that DAP had colluded with a group of pastors to form a Christian state in Penang.
Rujhan said that Malay leaders in Pakatan Rakyat, like PKR deputy president Azmin Ali had refused to apologise over the party’s non-support for president Abdul Hadi Awang’s private members bill on hudud in Parliament.
He was referring to a boycott threat by Permatang Pauh PAS division before the campaign started, but the matter was resolved when Azmin clarified the party’s stand on hudud.
PKR had earlier issued a statement saying that PKR’s Muslims cannot reject hudud but the party cannot support Hadi’s private bill as tabling it was not discussed in Pakatan’s leadership council.
“So it's haram to vote for a PKR candidate. A vote for nenek kipas (grandmother with a fan) is a vote for DAP. This is very clear,” Rujhan told the 100-odd people who attended the ceramah on Saturday.
Utusan let off with warning
The Utusan reports, published on May 7, 2011, and presented in Permatang Pauh, had screaming headlines ‘ Kristian Agama Rasmi ’ (Christianity the official religion?), ‘ Dua halaman blog dedah ikrar paderi seluruh negara ’ (Two blogs expose pledge by pastors nationwide).
DAP Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi who attended an event with the pastors in George Town had strongly denied the claims, and after a probe by the authorities, Utusan - an Umno owned newspaper - was let off only with a warning.
Rujhan went on to say that during the Prophet's time, Muslims supported one another, unlike present days, where Muslims in BN and Pakatan were often at odds with each other.
“Pakatan Muslims are more chummy with unbelievers than with Muslims in BN,” quipped.
Rujhan also condemned DAP’s tactics of luring Muslim voters with its young Malay members like Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud ( left ) and Syefura Othman, better known as Rara.
The two women are currently in Permatang Pauh campaigning for PKR candidate Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and the duo are seen in photos taken on green padi fields, appealing to outstation voters to come home and vote.
Rujhan also chided DAP for misleading Muslims by showing off its MPs recent visit to Jordan, an Islamic country.
“This is a threat to Muslims here. So remember on May 7, a vote for PKR is a vote for DAP,” he said, thunderously.
PAS rejected DAP?
Rujhan said even PAS have rejected DAP, and this could be seen by the numerous rallies held in Bagan - Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s constituency - by several individuals claiming to be PAS members.
In contrast to Umno’s style of using the hudud issue to campaign in the Malay heartland, MCA could be heard telling the Chinese community that a vote for PKR is a vote for PAS.
MCA leaders go around stating that Lim had agreed to hudud when he signed a joint letter with Hadi and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim during the May 2013 national polls.
However, the letter stated that DAP and PAS “agreed to disagree” on the issue of hudud, that the differences between the two parties were merely five percent, and that they would cooperate on issues of justice and human rights, which all components agree on.
Recently, MCA Penang liaison committee chairperson Chew Mei Fun said BN had to work hard to convince voters that PAS’ insistence to implement hudud law in Kelantan and Malaysia is a “threat” to non-Muslims.
“Many are still misled by DAP and say that hudud will not happen in this country,” she said, after attending a meeting in Kubang Semang.
“Actually, the threat is there. All PAS needs is a simple majority in Parliament (to amend the syariah criminal code which allows Kelantan to enforce hudud on its citizens),” she had claimed.
Permatang Pauh will vote on Thursday, polling day. PKR’s candidate Wan Azizah is facing a four-corner fight for the parliament seat with Umno’s Suhaimi Sabudin, PRM’s Azman Shah Othman and independent Salleh Isahak.