Hadi can kiss Chinese votes goodbye

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COMMENT | PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang may not agree with Invoke’s findings as presented by its founder, Rafizi Ramli, but based on my conversations with a number of Chinese grassroots leaders and former supporters, PAS is now a goner where they are concerned.

In the past, PAS was mainly represented by politicians of sound mind, such as Mohamad Sabu, Khalid Samad, Mujahid Yusof Rawa and even the late Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

However, most of these leaders have already joined Amanah, leaving behind an Islamist party that is largely led by people the likes of Hadi and the Tok Guru’s son, Nik Mohamed Abduh Nik Aziz.

One of the biggest sore points is Hadi’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (or Act 355).

The bill is linked to the introduction of hudud, which is seen as extreme by more secular sections of society. According to one observer, Hadi has been played out by PAS’ biggest rival, Umno.

Hadi had depended on Umno to support his private bill, but since it was tabled in the Parliament last year, the debate over the bill has been postponed a few times.

As one observer I spoke to pointed out, he had expected this to be the game that would be played by Umno. It was like bait, but it was unlikely that Umno would even budge.

I also spoke to some young people who would be voting for their first time in the coming general election. For these first timers, PAS is lowest in their preference, after BN.

Given the choice between just PAS and Umno, one of them said that he would prefer not to vote.

In the course of writing my Voiz food reviews, I also took the opportunity to talk about the coming general election with the restaurant owners. These voters are in their 40s and 50s. To them, PAS is indistinguishable from...