Quit Bachok if not with PAS, party’s Kelantan Youth tells Nash
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 ― Senior PAS member Nasharudin Mat Isa should quit his Bachok seat if he wishes to oppose PAS over its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partnership, the party’s Kelantan Youth wing has said ― signalling brewing discontent within the ranks over the senior politician’s close ties with the Umno leadership.
The Youth wing was responding to Nasharudin’s remarks calling for PAS to leave the PR opposition pact if its ally, DAP, continues to oppose hudud. The news was broadcast on TV3’s prime time news slot Buletin Utama yesterday.
“If he is no longer interested to be with PAS, it is only right for him to resign as Bachok member of parliament than to continue betraying the trust given by the people of Bachok in the GE12,” Mohd Nuri Mat Yaacob, told the party paper, Harakah Daily.
The Kelantan PAS Youth secretary was referring to the parliamentary seat Nasharudin contested and won in the 12th general election in 2008.
“DPPNK sees his suggestion as merely a repetition of the arguments endorsed by Umno leaders all this time,” Mohd Nuri was quoted as saying, referring to his youth wing by its initials in Malay.
Nasharudin, a former deputy president in the party, is also seen as having close ties with political archrival Umno’s top ranks, and has been spotted rubbing shoulders with its president Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s functions.
His comment is seen to run counter to the party’s official stand, made by PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and carried by Harakah this week.
Hadi had written an article to explain how the Islamist party could co-operate with the secular DAP despite their different political ideologies as they shared a common aim.
The DAP may be opposed to hudud but Umno has rejected the Islamic penal code, Hadi said, as he defended his PR ally that had come under relentless attacks from rival leaders and religious hawks the run-up to crucial national polls.
Pointing out the position of PR parties, he said that “just as DAP cannot force PAS members to consume alcohol or pork, PAS too cannot prevent DAP members from consuming alcohol or pork”.
“The PAS constitution compels us to sack any member who consumes alcohol or pork. The Umno constitution does not compel the sacking of its members for drinking with the MCA, MIC and Gerakan,” Hadi said.
Several conservative Islamic muftis and religious scholars had dubbed the DAP a party full of “kafir harbi”, or belligerent infidels, and told Malaysia’s dominant Muslim voters that it is “haram” or forbidden to support them at the 13th general election that must be called by next April.
“In reality, this term ‘hudud’ has returned and been made an electoral issue by Umno to create conflict among the people, without feeling responsibility towards Islam’s pure guidance,” the PAS president said in an article.
He noted that the DAP has been portrayed as a party opposed to hudud by the mainstream media controlled by the BN government, when it was Umno ― the ruling coalition’s mainstay ― that has rejected the enforcement of the Islamic penal code.
In his article titled “Hudud: DAP Menentang, Umno Menolaknya (Hudud: DAP Opposes, Umno Rejects)”, Hadi said that there were no issues with PAS working with the secular party even though the DAP has repeatedly stated that it will not brook the creation of an Islamic state or support the enforcement of the religious criminal code that prescribes, among others, the amputation of hands for theft.