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Thursday, September 29, 2011

PAS using hudud to regain Malay support

Kelantan menteri besar Nik Aziz, by raising the issue, is only interested in keeping a stranglehold on the state and is unconcerned about real issues, says an Umno leader.

KOTA BARU: PAS is facing an erosion of support among Muslims because the party has shifted from an Islamist approach to governing along secular lines, said an Umno veteran.

This is why Kelantan Mentri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is resolute about adopting hudud into the state’s Syariah enactments, said Kelantan opposition leader Mohd Alwi Che Ahmad.

Hudud exemplifies PAS’ determination to uphold one of the Islam’s tenets, but it is instead reeling now as it is unable to implement the law despite ruling two states.

PAS is also part of an opposition front which is confident of winning Putrajaya in the next general election, yet they cannot accept hudud as its common policy.

The traditionist groundswell of support for PAS has been torn apart as Muslims are puzzled as to why PAS switched from its fundamental idelogy of an Islamist state to a welfare state.

“One must acknowledge that a welfare state concept is akin to socialist principles, which is actually a DAP forte,” said Alwi.

“Nik Aziz has been in power for over 20-years. Surely, he knows what to do if he finds that support is eroding in Kelantan for PAS.

“His forceful attitude on hudud is typical of Nik Aziz who needs to shore up support ahead of the election. Although he is a cleric, he is a shrewd politician.”

Alwi added that his strategic partners, Anwar Ibrahim, DAP’s Karpal Singh, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng were fooled by the PAS spiritual adviser.

“They fell for his political brinkmanship. Now, they have to answer their own supporters about hudud while Nik Abdul Aziz becomes a hero to the Kelantanese folk,” said Alwi.

PAS is facing a negative spillover from its alliance in Pakatan mainly because DAP is the dominant force.

“DAP has the most consistent and credible support from non Muslims while PKR and the Islamist party have to deal with lukewarm support from the Malay ground.

“In all honesty, PAS cannot adopt hudud because it is DAP who is opposing it, and not Umno,” said Alwi.

PAS playing second fiddle to PKR, DAP

PKR, added Alwi, switches allegiance easily on the hudud issue because the party does not have a clear idealogy to further its cause. It was formed to free Anwar from imprisonment.

“But now he is a free man and it remains to be seen what the future holds for the party, especially with claims that it is being run in a dictatorial fashion,” he said.

As predominantly Muslims, Umno by the nature of its Islamic faith, is compelled to accept the implementation of hudud but the party is also practical in its outlook.

It knows that Malaysia is a multi-religious society, so it cannot simply implement it without due consideration to the impact on our multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, said Alwi.

He also said that PAS has little to educate the people about hudud, except to politicise it, making it difficult for non Muslims to fully comprehend what the law is all about.

Kelantan Umno treasurer Hanafi Mamat said Nik Aziz is only concerned about strengthening his grip on the state and he is not bothered about national issues or its impact on people.

“He does not care about other states, so if he feels that support is eroding for PAS in Kelantan, he would do whatever it takes to reverse the trend.

“This includes adopting hudud at all cost, even at the peril of asking DAP to exit from Pakatan,” said Hanafi.

“But 96% of Malays here are inclined to vote along the lines of what Pakatan is doing as they can see the two-party system at work.

“This worries Nik Aziz as it is now widely perceived that PAS is playing second fiddle to the PKR and DAP,” he added.

“This is why the party elected a populist, Mohamad Sabu, as its deputy president over an academician and a technocrat, Nasharuddin Mat Isa, as it wants to regain Malay support.”

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