KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — A leading Umno backbencher has dismissed accusations of Barisan Nasional (BN) “doublespeak” after the prime minister alluded that a vote for PAS was a vote for secular DAP.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s remarks today came a day after MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said support for DAP would bolster PAS, which would impose its Islamist values on non-Muslims.
BN Backbenchers Club vice president Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, however, defended both views as “consistent”, saying that the common denominator was opposition lynchpin PKR’s inability to control its partners’ excessive policies.
“Either way, if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) wins, PAS or DAP will be in control. PKR, or specifically Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, won’t be able to rein in their extreme views,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Abdul Rahman, who is Kota Belud MP, had earlier said on micro-blogging site Twitter that PKR was “spineless when facing PAS and DAP”, unlike BN which spoke with one voice.
He also said the statements made by Najib and Dr Chua were contradictory as both had merely touched on the same issue from different angles.
“MCA is MCA. Umno is Umno. MCA has its own concerns, same thing with Umno. They were articulating views vis-a-vis DAP and PAS,” the Sabahan lawmaker said.
Abdul Rahman also hit back at critics on Twitter who questioned why Umno had tried holding unity talks with PAS if the Islamist party was so extreme, pointing out that such discussions did not mean Umno wished to form a government with PAS.
“We were talking to the Communists in Baling too. Tunku Abdul Rahman talked to Chin Peng,” he said, adding that such talks were also a way to “un-extreme” PAS.
But he stressed that he was not calling DAP and PAS extremist parties as he contended it is not necessary to be an extremist to hold extreme views.
Without naming either opposition party, Najib suggested today that a vote for PAS was a vote for DAP, which he strongly implied would be disastrous for Muslims and Islam in Malaysia.
“Even if we vote for that faction, it is the one who sleeps in the same bed with them that will profit,” he said during his luncheon address at Himpunan Ulama, Cendekiawan Islam dan Penulis Maya here.
“The Chinese held a debate on Chinese at the crossroads. Muslims too are at a crossroads, more so since the general election is not far off. We must choose, and the one we choose must be able to guarantee the honour and purity Islam.”
The prime minister’s remarks appeared to contradict Dr Chua’s warning to the Chinese yesterday that a vote for DAP was a vote for PAS, which he claimed would impose its Islamist values on non-Muslims.
DAP would not be able to stop PAS from establishing an Islamic state in Malaysia should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) win federal power as “PAS is the taiko (big brother)”, the MCA president added.