KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — PAS today called MCA and Gerakan hypocrites for criticising the Kedah ban on entertainment outlets, pointing out that the two parties had approved the law when it was passed during the rule of the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the state.
“It was this group that supported the enactment in 1997 when it was debated before,” PAS information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said in a statement carried on PAS website Harakah Daily this morning. “Suddenly, they want to become heroes supposedly because they want to protect the rights of the non-Muslims.”
Tuan Ibrahim (picture), who is PAS Pahang commissioner, also countered accusations that the state’s decision yesterday to revoke the ban was due to the Islamist party’s subservience to DAP and dared all BN-controlled states to impose the same restrictions.
Instead, Tuan Ibrahim said it was a smart move because operators had now agreed to help the state government ensure that Muslims would not patronise their outlets and were prepared to be reprimanded if they violated the enactment.
“This is a new chapter because the Kedah government, under PAS’s leadership, has successfully enforced an enactment that benefits the Muslims in the state, something which Umno never achieved despite its long rule,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim also claimed that Kedah Muslims knew of BN’s failure in this respect, saying the federal ruling pact had never made any effort to create a conducive environment in the state for the Ramadan month.
“Do not, in their eagerness to attack PAS in this issue, forget that the Muslims know they have done nothing,” he said.
“Now, Muslims are waiting for when Umno, which has always claimed to be the true patriots of Islam, would enforce this same restriction on the states they rule.”
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak announced recently that the state would enforce the Entertainment and Entertainment Outlet Enactment 1997, which bans entertainment outlets from operating during the Muslim fasting month.
The announcement drew flak from PAS’s non-Muslim partner DAP in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR), with numerous leaders urging the state government to revoke the ban.
MCA also repeated previous claims that PAS would never abandon its Islamic state agenda and a PAS-DAP relationship would only erode the rights of non-Muslims.
PAS’s national leadership stepped in and following a meeting, announced yesterday that the ban would be revoked and operational guidelines would be set.
According to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, the Kedah government was merely enforcing a law enacted by the BN government and the matter had been spun out of context in the media.
He said that only non-Muslims would be allowed to patronise the outlets.