Update (Read here for more)
"... PAS has dropped from its election platform a pledge to create a theocratic state.
PAS will campaign with the slogan "a nation of care and opportunity," party President Abdul Hadi Awang told reporters Thursday.
He said the party is promising lower fuel prices, a minimum wage, free university education and more affordable health care.
By focusing on social issues rather than Islam, it (is) softening its hard-line image, which has alienated not only non-Muslims but also some within the Islamic community.
"We offer equal justice to all, justice in economy opportunities and freedom of religion," Abdul Hadi said. "We promise a government that is trustworthy, just and clean which will be able to give the people a better life."
Kumutha Raman, a 29-year-old law graduate, was named as the FIRST non-Muslim candidate to be fielded by PAS for a state seat in Johore.
Kumutha had broken the conservative Islamic party's 61-year-old tradition of only fielding Muslims as candidates.
But knowing the realities, PAS is fielding her under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat symbol,based on the electoral pact the two parties have made.
She is a member of the one-month old Unity Bureau under the Johor Non-Muslim
Pas Supporters Club. "I joined the club because I see that Pas is not bent on racialism. To me all races, be they Malays, Chinese or Indians, are the same," she said
Johor Pas commissioner Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed, who said the move signified PAS' tolerance towards other races.
From Anil Netto Blog
"...But all said and done, it is a breakthrough.
This is exactly the sort of “out-of-the-box” thinking that we need to shape a new political landscape in our land, breaking down ethnic, religious and mental barriers..."
"...I support and vote for PAS. They are moderate and respect other races and religion. UMNO is arrogant, insensitive, rude, disrespectful...... " "..A definite way forward for unity in the country. This made (me) jump with joy that a barrier to unity has been lifted. Sort the problems at hand first and put in sound Islamic principles in your governance. "...This is one positive step forward towards creating one united uncorrupted (in minds and deeds) Bangsa Malaysia. It's time for healing, it's time to accept one another without being suspicious of each other's good intentions. Syabas PAS!! ..." "...good thinking n good move,PAS!!my friends and me who are nonpartisan shall give our votes to pas in our constituency against umno/BN on 8-3-2008.Vote Barisan Rakyat and hidup rakyat!! .." "...Way to go PAS. Strong shared values are common to all folks of good and noble ethics. .." "... It is NOT UNDERSTOOD that Islamic State is implicit in the manifesto. If it is not specifically mentioned, then the voters are not voting for Islamic State. Though, I'd still be more inclined to vote for PAS despite this issue because they are not forming government. ..." "...Good decision, but I hope PAS you are sincere in making this decision as I could foresee it may have affect on your own members whom may have more aspiration to see that Malaysia indeed becomes an Islamic state. But if the decision was made unanimously after deliberation with the overall party representatives, then I foresee a great future for Barisan Rakyat. Congratulation in taking the first step, I just pray it is not a gimmick to earn non muslim Malaysians vote! ..." "...Now I say that Pas is full pledged political party ..." "...it would be very interesting to know what PAS would have to say about how they would handle the agonies suffered by those of other faiths in recent times such as the "body snatching", conversions especially where the husband converts to Islam and the wife, who has not done so, is faced with dilemmas such as what happens to her children etc etc. It would be very interesting to know what their views are on matters like the Lina Joy case etc etc, the controversies involving places of worship whether they are demolitions of existing ones or the challenges faced in trying to build new ones. These are matters that have become very important to those of other faiths and without a doubt, they would want some answers because they must feel they are not getting them at the present time. We cannot ignore their worries. They are Malaysians and our brothers and sisters. ..." "...All that the Indians of Ulu Tiram have to do is to review the videos of how the Indian community has been treated by UMNO, aided and abetted by MIC. Their frustration and anger have been stirred. They are looking for hope. Barisan Rakyat can deliver. Ulu Tiram used to be a BN stronghold because of the solid block vote delivered by MIC. But times have changed. MIC and BN are in for a rude shock. ..." "...But I wonder why field her under PKR flag? Why not directly under Pas symbol? As long as she understands and is conversant of Pas policies and constitution, the will be able to speak and explain to the masses. Again wonderful move because this has managed to break the mindsets of the people. After Hindraf, this is the next best thing to happen. There goes a few more seats to the opposition. BN is now in real trouble! ..." "..AS the BN stares at a dwindled majority ...it is a nightmare thinking how many more seats then usual you are actually going to loose.....and worse still if you are going to loose the two thirds majority.........but the real nightmare begins when Chinese and Indians dont mind being members of PAS!!!...but what does the nightmare become when a Chinese or Indian actually becomes a PAS candidate.....UMNO, the Malay Muslim party hasnow become irrelevant......... " "...Well done, Kamutha!! PAS will do more for you than MIC ever can!! .." "...PAS, I salute you. Go for it, Kumutha!! ..."