As Perikatan courts East Malaysian allies, PAS vows to not use its majority to implement oppressive policies

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — PAS has today vowed not to implement any policies that would oppress the public should it be part of the federal government, as its Perikatan Nasional (PN) aims to get the support of the East Malaysian bloc in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).

In a statement, the Islamist party’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said PAS believes in the Islamic principle of “there is no compulsion in religion” and will not force non-Muslims to convert.

“We reject any claims that PAS will use its position as the party with the most federal seats to implement policies that would oppress any groups, especially in Sarawak and Sabah where its people are living in harmony by their own traditions and religions,” he said.

It claimed to have respected the diversity and plurality of Malaysians of different ethnicities, traditions and religions, and their rights and freedoms to practice their own way of life that is protected by the Federal Constitution.

“We have proven this by showing openness to other races and religions in the state government led by PAS in Kelantan over the past 30 years,” he added.

PAS currently has the most number of seats in the Parliament among all political parties with 49 seats, with 27 of those contested under the banner of Perikatan Nasional (PN) rather than its own logo.

PN is currently planning to form the federal government with GPS and GRS.

However, Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has reportedly said that GPS would wait before deciding on a partner to form the federal government.

This comes following public backlash from Sarawak voters against GPS, following the many incidents in the past where PAS had tried to impose its version of Islam in public policies.

In March this year, PAS senator and information chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin said it is seeking a constitutional amendment to make it a prerequisite for the prime minister to be a Muslim — leading to a chorus of criticisms from Sarawak parties.

During 15th general election campaigning, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang was found to use a dog-whistle remark calling for violence against certain ethnic groups, with an anti-DAP social media post invoking God’s power in punishing certain ethnic groups by eliminating them.

PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was also recorded during campaigning claiming that a group of Jews and Christians were plotting to take over Muslim-majority Malaysia.