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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Temple, Thaipusam issues made me quit – PAS non-Muslim leader


S Barathidasan said PAS leaders were different after they joined the government and would do nothing to stop Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.

PETALING JAYA: Kedah’s decision to demolish temples and not allow a state holiday for Thaipusam triggered the resignation of PAS Supporters Assembly secretary S Barathidasan, who left the party last week.

He said all his pleas on these issues to the PAS leadership fell on deaf ears, while Kedah menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor ignored the sentiments of the Hindu community.

“This showed that we were merely being used as a front to show that PAS really cared for the non-Muslims,” he told FMT.

Barathidasan, who is an IT engineer, claimed the DHPP wing was given lots of assurances before PAS became part of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government a year ago but things started changing after that.

“I am in the WhatsApp group which includes leaders like minister Takiyuddin Hassan. I had pleaded with them to stop Sanusi from bulldozing his way in Kedah as it was hurting the community.

“Meanwhile, the Hindu community was angry at DHPP, viralling video clips condemning us and asking what we were doing there supporting a party that is trampling on our rights,” he said.

Barathidasan tendered his resignation on Dec 31 from all posts including that of Federal Territories DHPP chief, but it was only accepted last week.

He said what hurt him most was that the non-Muslims in the party stood by the other members on Islamic issues in the spirit of solidarity.

However, when it came to issues affecting the Indians, the others did not stand by them, he added.

Asked why he joined the party’s non-Muslim wing knowing pretty well that they would not get equal treatment, he said that seeing where the country’s politics was headed, the group wanted to be the conduit to explain and assure the community that their rights would be protected.

Barathidasan said the party’s inaction on his wing’s representation to stop the Kedah MB led to many arguments and differences within the DHPP leadership.

Some DHPP leaders did not bother asking him to remain as “they wanted the thorn out of their flesh.” - FMT

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