DAP will continue to support PAS
Read here for more in Malaysiakini
"... DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh said DAP will continue to support PAS, especially by campaigning for the party in Kuala Terengganu. He, however, cautioned that recent upheavals in the opposition coalition have affected DAP's enthusiasm.
When asked whether the controversy would affect the votes of non-Muslims in the by-election, Karpal said, "Since Husam had retracted his statement, we go back to square one."
Karpal also today said time has come for DAP to tell PAS that there is a limit to what they can do and there is a limit to their (DAPs) political patience. Karpal Singh said,
Karpal also reiterated that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim must break his silence on the issue.
"PAS should refrain from rocking the boat after the March 8 tsunami. It is quite obvious that the public want an alternative and we CAN attain that alternative in the NEXT election. I think PAS should hold its peace.
I have repeated a number of times that the five-men bench (Supreme Court) in 1988, then headed by Lord President Salleh Abas had delivered judgement which heard that Malaysia is a secular state, not an Islamic state.
So PAS cannot defy the constitution and the judicial pronouncement by the highest court of the land."
"He (Anwar) cannot afford to keep quiet. This is a very fundamental issue and PAS has been harping on it for a long long time."
--- End of Update ---
A Thorn in Pakatan’s Side
Excerpts: Read here for more
An old ghost has returned to haunt the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Out of the blues PAS is again ratcheting up its demand to implement the Islamic hudud and qisas laws that variously punish theft, robbery, illicit sex, alcohol consumption and apostasy with whipping, stoning to death and amputation of limbs.
Top PAS leaders defend hudud. (They) promise, when Pakatan seizes power, that they would implement the law. (They say) there was nothing wrong about it but only that DAP and PKR leaders, who oppose hudud, need some “educating” to end their opposition.
- PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said it was ibadat or religious obligation for PAS to pursue hudud laws. Nik Aziz said, “If they can accept the death sentence, why can’t they accept hudud.”
- PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa, the man behind the current controversy, said PAS would not give up on hudud which he said, was God’s law.“We will explain to all quarters, including the Pakatan Rakyat component parties, until they are ready to accept the law,” he said.
Such statements coming from respected PAS leaders are disheartening to many recent NON-Muslim supporters of PAS.
They had argued that with the co-operation, understanding and common manifesto put forward by Pakatan on March 8, the hudud and such issues have been finally laid to rest.
They had put their faith in a “new PAS” that they saw as moderate, liberal, and inclusive and even “secular” – a party that had abandoned the Islamic state ideology for a welfare state concept that was based on common human values.
But that view now appears whimsical.
As expected DAP leaders, worried over the negative impact of hudud on non-Muslims, are incensed with PAS leaders and have quickly and firmly restated their opposition to hudud.
They worry such statements would alienate the 11% Chinese voters in Kuala Terengganu whose support is crucial to wrest the seat from the Barisan Nasional.
(Note: The by-election is scheduled to be held on 17 Jan 2009)
The issue is too fundamental for PAS. PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, whose push for hudud, an Islamic constitution for the country and an Islamic financial system, after winning big in the 1999 general election, ENDED DISASTROUSLY (for PAS) in 2004.
Between the victory of 1999 and the defeat of 2004, the single dominant issue for Hadi and PAS was hudud and an Islamic theocratic state.
After a lull for several years and with a big by-election battle in Hadi’s own backyard, the same issue has cropped up.
Secular political parties like the DAP or PKR, unlike PAS, can sit down and negotiate a common platform based on “common human values” and continuously “adjust” their programmes according to needs.
PAS, however, is different being a party based on religion. One part of the party is cast in concrete and inflexible on fundamentals while another is moderate and liberal but even then in a LIMITED way.
It’s probably this inflexibility that has hampered Anwar from putting together a clearly spelt out vision and mission statement for the Pakatan Rakyat coalition that is compatible with the long-term aims of PAS.
A senior PAS leader said expecting PAS to give up on hudud or qisas is like asking the DAP to give up on its Malaysian Malaysia ideology or Umno to give up on ketuanan Melayu.
PKR and DAP leaders, however, insist a common platform acceptable to all is already available in the Constitution which balances and guarantees Muslim and non-Muslim rights. But for PAS that is NOT good enough.
The Quran is their constitution in THIS LIFE and THEREAFTER and because of that the political hiccups over hudud and syariah are UNLIKELY to end any time soon.