The Islamic party can teach Putrajaya a thing or two about good governance, says Baljit Singh.
It shows that PAS, unlike the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government, respects public opinion, according to Baljit Singh, who heads Penang Gerakan’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau.
The PAS-led Kedah administration yesterday revoked a decision to shut bars, discos and other entertainment outlets during the Muslim fasting month, just days after announcing it and provoking a public uproar. Operators are now required merely to turn away Muslim customers.
Baljit said PAS, in its willingness to accept positive public feedback, had shown an aptitude for good governance.
“I have to praise PAS for listening to the people and accepting views that the blanket ban was a bad move,” Baljit said.
“The Umno-dominated federal government should be emulating such an example. It should learn from PAS to improve its governance.”
Instead, he said, Umno had shown arrogance in the face of criticism, as reflected in its refusal to repeal draconian laws and answer the call for reforms in the election system.
“Umno seems never to listen to public opinion. If only it would heed the public, we would have a better and more popular federal government.”
He said the detention of Parti Sosialis Malaysia members under the Emergency Ordinance was a classic example of Umno’s haughty attitude.
He also praised Kedah Gerakan for executing its duty as an opposition party in a “constructive and progressive way” against the Ramadan ban.
“Gerakan did not emulate others by taking the matter to streets,” he said in a broadside against both Umno and Pakatan Rakyat parties.