Malaysia

Nik Aziz hails DAP use of PAS logo, says breaks racial barriers

BY CLARA CHOOI
ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

April 19, 2013

Lim Kit Siang (right) and Nik Aziz (centre) are seen during the launch of the Johor Pakatan Manifesto in Johor Baru. — file picLim Kit Siang (right) and Nik Aziz (centre) are seen during the launch of the Johor Pakatan Manifesto in Johor Baru. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 — Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat hailed the DAP’s decision to use the PAS logo for Election 2013 as a “great blessing” for his party, saying today the move would lead to the death of Islamophobia in Malaysia.

The PAS spiritual leader disagreed that DAP’s decision to contest as a PAS candidate would be a hindrance to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) dream of Putrajaya, insisting that this could well be the opportunity for a new Malaysia under the opposition bloc.

“Be confident that this historic decision will be remembered throughout the ages. This is the moment when the rocket lands on the moon,” he said in a statement this evening, referring to DAP’s rocket symbol and PAS’s moon.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng confirmed tonight the party’s candidates for 51 federal and 103 state seats will opt for the PAS and PKR logos in west and east Malaysia respectively if the Rocket logo is rejected on Nomination Day tomorrow.

The party’s decision is seen as historic as Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders have always harped on glaring differences between the political beliefs and ideologies of secular DAP and Islamist PAS, oftentimes even warning that these clashes would lead to racial unrest in the country.

On the one hand, BN component party MCA has been warning off the Chinese community from voting in the DAP, claiming that this would then lead to the implementation of the controversial Islamic law “hudud”.

BN lynchpin Umno, on the other hand, would argue the reverse to the Malays and warn the country’s dominant ethnic group that voting for PAS would see their political powers and rights stripped bare by the Chinese.

As a result of this “fear-mongering”, Nik Aziz said the Muslims and the non-Muslims in Malaysia are always living in suspicion of one another.

But while he expressed sympathy to the DAP, he said the party’s swift decision and readiness to contest under the PAS flag had immediately broken the barrier of doubt between the Muslims and non-Muslims.

“DAP fearlessly destroyed this barrier by opting to use PAS’s logo in seats where the majority of voters are Chinese.

“I count this as the moment when PAS’s struggle no longer terrifies the Chinese. Although it may not be entirely accepted yet, but bit by bit this fear is gone,” he said.

Be confident that this historic decision will be remembered throughout the ages. This is the moment when the rocket lands on the moon. — Nik Aziz Nik Mat

In contrast, Nik Aziz said that while the non-Muslims are now happy to fly the flag of PAS, none among them have ever been seen carrying Umno’s “dagger” of its flag.

“I am confident that the seeds of Islamophobia sown by Umno has died. The DAP’s decision, insyaallah, is a great blessing to PAS,” he said.

The DAP’s willingness to contest Election 2013 under PAS and PKR banners for the first time in history came about following the Registrar of Society’s (RoS) decision to reject its office-bearers.

DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua pointed out that party candidates could not risk submitting letters of authority — which authorise them to run under the party’s Rocket logo — signed by the party’s secretary-general, whose position was being disputed by the ROS.

“If our CEC not recognised, how to issue authorisation letter to our candidates?” Pua told The Malaysian Insider today, referring to the party’s central executive committee.

He added that the RoS did not contact DAP at all today. Pua said that DAP’s 53 parliamentary candidates and 103 state candidates throughout the country would contest in Election 2013, with Nomination Day starting tomorrow, under the PAS and PKR symbols in the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak respectively.

Lim demanded yesterday that the RoS revoke, in writing, its letter dated April 17, 2013 that refused to recognise the party’s CEC due to a party balloting error.

RoS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman, however, was quoted by national news agency Bernama yesterday as saying that DAP could still use its Rocket logo in the 13th general election as the party has not been deregistered.

Abdul Rahman did not respond to calls or messages by The Malaysian Insider today requesting comment.