As BN gains steam in Tanjung Piai race, Guan Eng claims minorities have no say under Umno-PAS

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Citing past statements made by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Lim Guan Eng (pic) claimed the PAS president had made it clear that only Muslims will be allowed to hold key posts should the party wrest federal power. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — Minority leaders will be sidelined from key policy decisions under Umno-PAS rule, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng asserted today as the Opposition appears to take the lead in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary race.

Lim was responding to PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s challenge to prove his previous claim that non-Muslims were being oppressed by the Malay pact.

Citing past statements made by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Lim claimed the PAS president had made it clear that only Muslims will be allowed to hold key posts should the party wrest federal power.

“Such statements should suffice to make us doubt PAS’s commitment to a democratic system that empowers all races as provided under the Federal Constitution all this while,” the Bagan MP who is also finance minister said in a statement.

Lim noted that leaders in MCA — the Barisan Nasional (BN) component party contesting in Tanjung Piai — have toned down their criticisms against the adoption of Islamic policies and proposals after its PAS and Umno forged their Muafakat Nasional pact.

“Unfortunately MCA, which had criticised the extreme religious politics that advocates discrimination of non-Muslims, is now a PAS ally and has not once questioned their views,” he said.

In 2017, Abdul Hadi wrote a letter published in PAS organ Harakah saying “that in politics, Islam obliges the primary leadership that decides on policies and conceptualisation to be of Muslims while the non-Muslims can (only) be appointed in areas of expertise and management, not for the latter two.”

Last month, the Islamist party’s vice-youth chief Ahmad Fadhil Shaarir was reported saying that senior Cabinet, state and government posts, including portfolios like finance, defence, education, and domestic affairs, cannot be held by minorities.

In the same month, Abdul Hadi was again quoted as saying that it is a sin to “surrender power” to non-Muslims and that doing so will end with “damnation in hell”.

Lim claimed these statements suggested why PAS was willing to form an alliance with a corrupt party led by a “global kleptocrat”, simply because Umno was a Malay-Muslim outfit.

“Now Malaysians understand why PAS under Hadi would support former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who brought infamy to the country as a global kleptocrat,” he said.

PAS has openly stated that it would campaign for MCA’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat in Johor.

Abdul Hadi in the run up to the ongoing campaign period said the political co-operation was held in deference to its new ally Umno, although it in no way tied PAS to BN’s agenda.

The co-operation drew criticism of hypocrisy for both PAS and MCA. The latter had once threatened to abandon BN over Umno’s decision to embrace PAS.

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