KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 – Malaysia is not a theocracy and never will be one. And the sooner, the PAS hardliners understand that reality, the better for all. The problem is, of course, they don’t seem to get it. The PAS Dewan Ulama believes that its vision of an Islamic state will be acceptable to all. It wasn’t acceptable in 1951 when the clerics left Umno before Malaya achieved Merdeka and it still isn’t acceptable in 2014 when Malaya together with Sabah and Sarawak now make up Malaysia.
And if that doesn’t even impress the conservative puritans who form the Dewan Ulama, how about this fact: PAS has yet to win a state or federal seat in Sabah or Sarawak until now. And by the looks of its actions in the Selangor menteri besar impasse, the Islamist party might even lose more seats in the country’s wealthiest state where the multiracial and multifaith electorate choose their lawmakers on policy, not faith. Also, the most dangerous theme running through the party is that the cleric class cannot be criticised. This is akin to putting some really flawed individuals on a pedestal reserved for the Almighty.
They can’t be criticised by their own members nor can they be criticised by their allies. When did it come to this, that thin-skinned clerics run a party without question? Is this a political party or one of scholars who think they have a heavenly mandate? We have been making too many excuses for PAS for too long. Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was an aberration. The likes of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Datuk Harun Din are the norm and till today none of the PAS leadership have condemned the barbaric beheadings by Isis.
Instead, they collected money for one Malaysian fighter who died in the Middle East despite him having been sacked from PAS. And they now dub him a martyr. The PAS clerics must know that most, if not all, Malaysians want a country that is for all, not for the select few. Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy and has been since 1963, and before that Malaya since 1957. Malaysia isn’t a theocratic state and will never be a theocracy. Any attempt or effort to push that will only shrink PAS’s influence and support in Malaysia. It happened in Terengganu where PAS was a one-term government between 1999 and 2004, and it happened in Kedah between 2008 and 2013. The PAS hardliners must learn from history that their vision for Malaysia will not ever happen.
Credit : The Malaysian Insider