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‘Goodwill discussion just political gimmick’

 | May 24, 2012

Muslim unity exists, and there is no need for muzakarah. What is needed is to address the socio-economic divide, says PAS Supporters Club Congress.

KOTA BARU: Muslim unity exists in the country despite what Umno may be projecting to the masses, PAS Supporters Club Congress president Hu Phang Chiau, claims.

What does not exist now, is an effective policy to address the growing socio-economic divide between the rich and the poor due to certain groups exploiting the goodwill gesture and ignorance of Malaysians for the past 50 years, Hu said.

“Giving the benefit of doubt to politicians is a culture in Malaysia. For over half a century, we have done it. We are also generally nice people, who often respect persons in positions. This is all changing as the poor becomes poorer and the rich becomes richer.”

Referring to the proposed “muzakarah” (goodwill discussion) between PAS and Umno, Hu said the issue was nothing more than a political gimmick, hatched by Umno to save its own political career.

Malays are predominantly Muslims and they are united in their faith, Hu claimed in an interview.

“When they greet each other, they wish peace be onto you regardless of whether the person is PAS or Umno. The Muslims only differ on how they treat each other in terms of socio-economy and fairness.”

This is why the cornerstone of PAS’ struggle is justice, Hu said, adding that justice was also a principle subscribed by another Muslim-dominated party, PKR.

Therefore, the proposed “muzakarah” is best seen as a political gimmick, he said.

Hu suggested that Umno should hold dialogues with all Malay (Muslim)-interest groups on why the community generally continues to be poor and suffer in this age of globalisation.

“Umno should hold a muzakarah with such groups on why the Malays are suffering from economic hardship, social ills and a lack of confidence in their younger generation.”

PAS is just championing what the poor sections of the Malay community are seeking, which is justice and fairness, a common denominator for any religion, Hu said.

He claimed that in Malaysia now, those with the right “links” were getting richer, while blue-collar workers became poorer amidst rising cost of living.

For decades, the average Malaysian and the poor had believed in Umno’s reasoning and promises to enrich the country.

Instead, individuals are becoming enriched and not the country as a whole, Hu claimed.

If Umno leaders do want a muzakarah, they should hold it with the poor Malays and interest groups, he said.

“Explain to them why the community generally remains poor. Explain to them why the rural community continues to struggle.”


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