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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

When PAS permits what is impermissible

One of the signs of the end of times is when religious clerics permit the impermissible. Stealing is wrong. Yet when it is qualified with the word "rationalisation", suddenly it becomes right again.
1MDB is built on funds borrowed from various banks in the guise of developing the country, yet allegedly squandered without a sen seen in Malaysia, except what 1MDB ostensibly claimed: that RM56 million was spent on sending Muslim pilgrims to their haj.
Now, since when can allegedly stolen money be used to serve a religious end? Besides, isn't that the job of Tabung Haji. At more than RM200 million a year, it sends some 29,000 Muslims to pilgrimage annually.
Why is 1MDB, a company that has yet to make money, let alone pay back the US$6.5 billion it borrowed from IPIC, suddenly passionate in the religious business? Wouldn't it have sufficed to transfer the RM56 million to Tabung Haji to defray their cost?
All the lines of communication have become short circuited and crossed, precisely because politics have been made the rule of the game. Instead of sheer economic rationale, a combo of politics and religion have come into play to pull wools over the eyes of the believers and Malaysians alike, especially the rural Malay Muslims.
By listening to 1MBD chief Arul Kanda, PAS has seemingly given the country’s sovereign wealth fund a clean bill of health. But what about four issues that remain unresolved?
1. Why does 1MDB keep missing its payments to IPIC?
2. Why does 1MDB not initiate legal actions to recover the seized properties in US?
3. Why does 1MDB not initiate legal actions to recover the monies paid to the fake Aabar BVI (British Virgin Islands)?
4. Why did 1MDB parcel out Bandar Malaysia to the Ministry of Finance when this was the jewel of its crown?
Of course, there are many more issues that needed to be investigated and determined.
Unless PAS and 1MDB can pass muster on all four simple issues first, a political party, especially one that has inched ever closer to Umno - allegedly the main perpetrator of 1MDB - is not in the position to say who is right and wrong.
By classifying the most important investigation findings of the auditor-general - the Auditor-General Report on 1MDB - the exercise is at once redundant as it is pointless.
By not even allowing this report to be declassified as was earlier promised, not forgetting the stubborn refusal to answer questions regarding 1MDB in the Parliament, Najib Razak and his administration obviously have a lot to hide.
As the Prophet Muhammad SAAS once said: "When in doubt, refrain from doing it." PAS knows this principle well as it is Islam 101 in determining what is permissible and prohibited.
By accepting Arul Kanda's closed-door account to PAS, the party has betrayed its principles to struggle for Islam. Instead, side by side with Umno, it has become a bedlam of vested religious, personal, financial and political interest.
The honourable choice among the members of PAS now is: to sink or swim with the proverbial rats of Umno. Choosing the latter is a repudiation to Malaysians who once heralded PAS as a beacon of light.

RAIS HUSSIN is Bersatu supreme council member and policy and strategy bureau head. - Mkini

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