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Personal view or party stand? - Kit Siang on PAS Youth chief's Xmas warning

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DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has questioned whether the warning by PAS Youth Chief Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi for Muslims to not celebrate Christmas as the act is allegedly against the teachings of Islam was the party's official stand or merely a personal view of the president's son. 

Lim pointed out that Khalil said the Christian celebration is against the teachings of Islam and there should not be any acknowledgement of the Christian religion.

"This question arises after PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan sent out festive greetings in conjunction with Christmas after Khalil’s warning.

"Who has the bigger say in PAS – the PAS secretary-general or the PAS Youth leader, who is also the son of the PAS President?" said asked in a statement.

Given the two opinions, Lim further questioned the stand of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, spiritual advisor Hashim Jasin, as well as the party's dewan syura on the issue.

Aside from PAS leaders, Lim cited a list of high profile Muslim leaders from Malaysia and around the world who had extended Christmas greetings and partake in the celebrations, including Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, Sultanah Johor Raja Zarith Sultan Idris Shah, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Are they any less a Muslim as a result?"

Following social media outcry against Khalil's warning, Lim said PAS' Pasir Mas MP Fadhli Shaari had attempted to divert attention with his claim that "Amanat Kit Siang is more dangerous than Amanat Hadi." 

Lim in response said he was "most flattered" by the claim, for two reasons.

"Firstly, that there is an Amanat Kit Siang without my knowing it or anybody else knowing it...

"And secondly, that some 15 years after Hadi had dismissed me as 'expired medicine' which had 'outlived its usefulness', I am still capable of conjuring the image of an 'Amanat Kit Siang'," he said.

"Did this PAS leader consult Hadi before making such a statement, which would make the PAS president look so foolish as long ago as 15 years ago?"

Beyond the Christmas controversy, Lim said the PAS leadership has failed to answer many pertinent questions, including its stand to reject ratification of International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

"Some 99 percent of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world living in 179 countries which have ratified ICERD, including 55 of the 57 member nations of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC)...

"Is PAS going to be the saviour of Muslims in the world, including Muslims in the Islamic heartlands centred in Saudi Arabia, and launch an international campaign to get the 1.3 billion Muslims to oppose Icerd?" said Lim, adding that it was "sad and pathetic" how more PAS leaders are showing their primitive mindset.

Arguing that PAS leaders should learn more about love from other prominent Muslims, Lim also recalled the global Christmas message by 129 Muslim leaders who gathered in Amman, Jordan, in December 2007 - following up on an earlier call for greater interfaith dialogue.

Among others, he said the Christmas greeting includes a plea for Christians and Muslims to "do their utmost to save, uphold, and treasure every single human life and especially the life of every single child.”

"(So) Is there an Amanat Kit Siang? If there is, let it be the following: Let Malaysians, whether Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus or other faiths resolve that one of the objectives of a New Malaysia is to make Malaysia one of the foremost nations in the world in interfaith dialogue, understanding and tolerance.

"Will PAS support this objective?"

Amanat Hadi (Hadi's message) was a speech delivered in 1985 where the party's political opponents were described as kafir, PAS' struggle against them as jihad and its members would be martyred if they died in the struggle.

There is no parallel "Amanat Kit Siang" but Fadhli made reference to the Setapak declaration made by the DAP in 1967 which declared its opposition to dividing Malaysians along the lines of bumiputera and non-bumiputera citizens.

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