P Ramakrishnan warns that PAS will further divide Malaysia: Hadi’s PAS segregates; his views discriminate

By P Ramakrishnan:

Photo Credit FMT

Pas under its previous presidents was never exclusive. They reflected the kinder and gentler face of Islam. Their policies were based on fairness and compassion.

But the Pas of today under Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is a far cry from what it used to be when Islam was projected as a way of life.

Hadi is oblivious to the fact that Malaysia is a plural society; he is apparently unmindful of the fact that Malaysia is a multi-cultural nation.

It is bewildering to Malaysians when he recently claimed “that G25 was more dangerous than Al-Maunah,” the militant group that sparked a major security alert 20 years ago in 2000 after they raided a military armoury.

According to him, “This group (G25) and its ilks are more dangerous than Al-Maunah as they are a threat to Muslim beliefs.”

How can he claim that Al-Maunah is less dangerous when their history was one of violence and murder?They took four hostages and killed two of them – a policeman and a soldier – before surrendering. It was a cold-blooded murder – how could Hadi overlook this evil deed and brand G25, a grouping of retired top civil servants, as dangerous – worse than Al-Maunah?

G25 in their recently released report on “Administration of Matters Pertaining to Islam,” observed in their wisdom that a Muslim’s decision to leave Islam was a personal one, and questioned the legality of the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the National Council for Islamic Affairs.

They are entitled to their view. Their detractors could refute in a sane and sensible manner by rebutting point for point. But clearly Pas is incapable of engaging in an intellectual discourse as can be perceived from his mindless response.

Hadi accused G25 of insulting state muftis and religious advisers to the rulers, saying the group was insinuating that they did not understand the Federal Constitution.

His statement is nothing but utter rubbish. Did G25 actually insult the muftis and advisers to the rulers? Did G25 in any way insinuate that these religious personages did not understand the Federal Constitution?

Why drag in the rulers when G25 had no issue with them? It is done with the obvious intention to rile up the Malays. Knowing how closely the rulers are identified with the Malays, it was a deliberate attempt to work up Malay sentiments against a group that is composed of Malay intellectuals by dragging in the rulers. Any reasonable and logical argument to expose what is wrong is seen as antithesis to Pas. They cannot tolerate this and play batuapi.

Any opening of the mind through logical arguments, any reasoning to establish the truth will spell the death knell for Pas. That is why Hadi views them as “a threat to Muslim beliefs.” Those who have been brainwashed would discover the truth which would threaten Muslim support for Hadi and his party.

As far as understanding the Federal Constitution is concerned, no religious bigot can hold up a candle to the respected members of G25. They are highly respected and knowledgeable individuals who care for truth and justice and mean well for the nation. They have no axe to grind. They have no hidden agenda to promote themselves. They are not out to profit themselves.

Only the narrow-minded bigots with their own political agenda will oppose them and brand them as dangerous. They will demean and demonize G25 because G25 are perceived as enemies who may eventually rescue the ordinary Malays from the stranglehold that Pas exerts on them to retain their political power.

To hang on to his political power, Hadi must propagate views that are devoid of logic and compassion. To do this, sometimes lies are concocted and the fear of the here-after is magnified.

Recently, in a veiled suggestion, he proposed the formation of a “Pakatan National” unity government “to bring the country back to its original path…However. it must follow the principles of democracy.”

Well, “if going back to the original path” is referred to our beginning as a nation on attaining Merdeka or Independence, there is no quarrel. It would mean a path founded on tolerance and compassion, fairness and justice, a live-and-let live policy and inclusiveness that embraced every one as citizens – we support this enthusiastically. It is unfortunate that we had veered away from this path because of the greed and selfishness of opportunistic politicians that thwarted this path for their selfish gains.

It is interesting to note that Hadi insists that we must “follow the principles of democracy.” Is he blind to the fact that it was because we followed the principles of democracy that Barisan National was completely rejected by the people to bring about a new government based on a democratic election in GE14 on 9 May 2018? It was this democratic process that inflicted such a loss to Pas and the other minions of BN.

What is Hadi crowing about democracy and the original path when that was what the people had decided on in the G14?

His devious intention is couched in democracy and the original path. What he actually aspires for is a Malay-Muslim government to the exclusion of the non-Malays. He cannot fool thinking people.

He falsely claims that the Pakatan Harapan is “dominated by non-Muslims.” There is no truth whatsoever to this absurd claim. In a 27-member Cabinet, there are 16 Malays. Out of the 27 Deputy Ministers, there are 19 Malays. This being the case, how can he claim that the non- Malays are dominating the Cabinet? Can a minority of non-Malays overwhelm the majority Malays? This is ludicrous!

He has deliberately lied to mislead the Malays and arouse anger and hatred against the non-Malays. What does Islam say about lying and promoting hatred?

Yet in a dishonest and deceitful fashion he insists, “We see the political power of the Malay-Muslims threatened because Harapan is dominated by non-Muslims.”

His false claims bring to mind a saying, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

Hadi is on record delivering a warning to Muslims to place their trust in Muslim leaders regardless of their wickedness, claiming that believers will end up in hell if led by non-Muslims.

Isn’t it a common belief that a place is assured in heaven for a person who is just and honest, compassionate and trustworthy, a man of integrity who does what is good and fair and his deed is honourable?

In a lengthy opinion piece titled Rule of Law: Where is Allah? today, the Pas president had stressed the importance of religion in keeping the law, and the importance for Islam to reign supreme in the governance of the country.

“If the one leading is a Muslim, even if he were cruel, at least (others) can become cattle herders,” the Marang MP wrote. “But if the one who leads is a non-Muslim, even if he were the kindest, (others) can work however they wish [but] without any limits of what is ‘halal’ and ‘haram’ they will still end up in hell.”

In other words, Hadi is claiming that heaven is guaranteed for the Muslim even though he may be wicked and cruel but a place in heaven is denied to the non-Muslim even if he was a decent, God-fearing person of exemplary character. He is contending that hell is for non-Muslims. Is Hadi the gate-keeper at the doors of heaven?

Hadi has long been a proponent of Malay-Muslim rule. In 2017, he pointed out that Malaysia should be led by the Malay-Muslims as they are the dominant community, and advocated an all-Muslim Cabinet with full powers to formulate policies.

This stand by Hadi was soundly chastised and condemned in my article on Dec. 30, 2017. (See below)

Hadi and Pas are a real threat to our national harmony and unity. The Pakatan Harapan government must investigate his provocative statements and false claims and take the necessary action to preserve our stability and peace.

This is the article Ramakrishnan wrote in 2017 and mentioned in the above piece.

All Muslim Cabinet: What says the PM?

Every time Hadi and his ilk in Pas open their mouths with their extreme views sidelining the non-Muslims and non-Malays, oh how terribly we miss Tok Guru Nik Aziz!

Tok Guru was inclusive, fair and just in his views and, believing in Islam’s notion that all men are equal, always made it clear that the non-Muslims should not be discriminated against.

I remember a teacher friend of mine who was also a part-time pastor in Kuala Krai who wanted to renovate his church that was in disrepair for which he required the MP from that constituency to endorse his application for the renovation. The Umno MP rejected his request, stating that it was a Malay-majority area and therefore he could not support the application.

When Pas formed the state government in 1990, my friend attended the MentriBesar’s open house for Hari Raya. The MB then was Tok Guru. My friend attended this function and raised the question of the renovation of his church with Tok Guru who advised him to come and see him on another day. Accordingly, my friend visited Tok Guru and explained the problem he had faced with the Umno MP. Without hesitation, there and then, Tok Guru approved the application for the renovation of the church.

My friend asked Tok Guru how come the previous MP refused when Tok Guru had readily endorsed his application. Tok Guru simply said, “They are Malay – we are Muslim!”

That simple, honest answer revealed the true face of Islam which is moderate, just, fair, non-discriminatory and inclusive. That is the kind of Islam that is sadly lacking in Pas now. Is it any wonder that this departure from the true path of Islam, as perceived by many, including a sizeable number of Pas members, who had become disillusioned with Hadi’s leadership and decided to part ways with the party they had been associated with for decades because it no longer reflected the embracing views of the much revered Tok Guru?

Tok Guru would never have ignored the mind-boggling corruption that is plaguing the nation. He had made it abundantly clear that there would never be any co-operation with Umno and he meant it. “I would not allow it, for as long as I am still alive, I would not permit any effort for co-operation between Pas and Umno,” he was quoted as saying.

He drew a clear line between right and wrong. He would never have compromised with the RM2.6 billion scandal staring at us. He would never have condoned the sidelining of any minority community.

With the passing of Tok Guru on Feb. 12, 2015, everything changed to the detriment of the country.

Hadi has now come out quite openly advocating an all-Muslim Cabinet with full powers to formulate policies. This policy has effectively ignored the rights of non-Muslims to be at par with the Muslim Cabinet members with equal right to discuss, decide and formulate policies for the nation. By his policy, he has reduced the non-Muslims to a lower status and stature. He has resorted to double-dealing without a qualm.

Clearly, a controversy has erupted and he has been soundly criticized for his diabolical views. His minions have come out with explanations to state what Hadi actually meant and that the NST that carried Hadi’s opinion piece in the party organ, HarakahDaily, had misreported what was said byHadi. But strangely Hadi himself, the author of that article, had not come forward to provide a definite explanation. Why has he not come forward with his side of the story and put an end to this disturbing controversy? Is it because, as some have rightly claimed, what has been written in black and white cannot be twisted to give a different meaning to what was expressed and intended in writing?

What Pas seems to be saying is that non-Muslims don’t have an equal stake in this country, totally ignoring the fact that we attained Merdeka because of the common stand taken by the various leaders and communities at that time in our history. It was this united effort and resolve that secured our Independence.

But Hadi is no respecter of history. Didn’t he at one time label Umno members as kafirs? Didn’t this stand result in two imams in our mosques? Wasn’t marriages solemnized by Umno imams not recognized, creating ridiculous situations. Funeral rites were not permitted to be performed by Umno imams at Pas funerals. The Muslims were split by their political affiliations. Their political differences were that serious.

Now, forgetting the past and ignoring the enmity between the two, Hadi is trying to forge a kind ofMuslim unity by openly associating himself with Umno. With this stance, he is hoping to create a dominant race in Malaysia to dominate Malaysian politics through religion and summarily dismissing the role of non-Muslims.

He is playing dangerous politics that cannot be condoned by right-thinking and well-meaning Malaysians. His politics must be condemned and opposed in the larger interest of Malaysia and its people.

In the midst of this controversy, a larger question looms above us begging for an immediate answer.

What is Najib’s stand in this controversy? True, he had neither supported nor condemned Hadi’s view as going against the democratic principles and in contravention of the Federal Constitution. By not taking a stand, he is sending a wrong signal that he is not opposed to Hadi’s view and is thereby in fact in support of Hadi. There is no other conclusion to this controversy.

What has happened to Najib’s much-heralded moderate Islam? Is it an exercise in mere public rhetoric without a modicum of conviction?

By not being forthright in his views regarding Hadi’s stand, Najib is seen as espousing an extreme policy that deprives the non-Malaysof their legitimate constitutional rights. By notopposingHadi’sdiscriminatorypolicy, he is paving the way for an extreme policy to evolve and eventually become the policy of Malaysia.

In this critical moment, moderate Malaysians who love this nation and would like to safeguard our unity and preserve our peace must rally together to halt this attempt by Hadi to do away with our democratic tradition which will only bring destruction to our nation. We mustresolutelyoppose and do all that is necessary and permissible to bring about a change to the present governance which will do untold harmtoour nation if we don’t stop them in their tracks.

Let us be guided by the immortal words of Edmund Burke, the great Irish statesman who said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

(Dec. 30, 2017)

(The complete article entitled ‘Hadi’s PAS segregates; his views discriminate’ was first published in Aliran on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. The link is here.)

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

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P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.

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  • Philip says:

    Mariam, this piece needs to be in Malay and then shared with Malay readers.

    Otherwise you’re just preaching to the converted.

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