A fellow PAS leader questions the motive of Nasharuddin's strong censure against the party's hudud stand.
KUALA LUMPUR: PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar questioned today Nasharuddin Mat Isa’s strong-worded criticism against his own party on the hudud debacle, saying the timing of the censure was suspicious.
The Pokok Sena MP said Nasharuddin had no qualms working with Karpal Singh, the staunch critic of PAS’s plans to implement the Islamic penal law, when he was the party’s deputy president when he knew well what the DAP chairman felt about hudud.
“Didn’t he already know what Karpal’s position was when he was the party’s secretary-general and later deputy president?
“Everyone knows and knew what Karpal’s stand on hudud was including him, but he still agreed to cooperate with the DAP not only in Pakatan Rakyat but also its predecessor, Barisan Alternatif,” he told FMT.
Nasharuddin yesterday accused Karpal of being “anti-Islam” and called on the party leadership to make its stand on the hudud debacle clear.
Nasharuddin, the Bachok MP, also claimed that there is a growing disquiet among the party’s grassroots over the DAP chairman’s “blatant” rejection of the Islamic penal law and PAS’ seemingly passive stand on the longstanding controversial issue.
Speaking to reporters soon after returning from Saudi Arabia yesterday, Nasharuddin said Karpal’s reasoning for his rejection of hudud pointed towards Islamophobia.
His comments drew applause from archrivals Umno who suggested that the former PAS No 2 was representing the party’s silent majority who oppose the DAP’s anti-hudud stand.
“I believe he [Nasharudin] is not alone because there are other PAS members who are not comfortable with the PAS-DAP cooperation,” said Kelantan Umno deputy liaison chief Awang Adek in a report published today by Malay daily Sinar Harian.
“But other members may not be as courageous as Nasharuddin who has seen that the direction of PAS has increasingly deviated from its original struggle and is now following the direction of DAP,” he added.
The statement comes amid a concerted attempt by Umno to label the DAP as anti-Islam and drive a wedge between the two in a bid to shore up support from the country’s majority electorate.
Umno’s mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia, had recently published a report on Nasharuddin’s censure against his own party together with a picture of him and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in Saudi Arabia.
This drew accusations of disloyalty from PAS’s leaders, with some calling for his resignation. Nasharuddin denied the allegation, saying he would remain with the Islamist party but will continue to speak out on hudud.
Mahfuz, referring to the meeting with Najib, said “people” are suspicious of Nasharuddin’s sudden outburst against Karpal and the DAP .
“Why is he suddenly behaving this way? I don’t know why. That you have to ask him,” he said.
Karpal to sue
Meanwhile in a related development, Karpal Singh said he would be suing Nasharuddin over the latter’s remark.
“In view of the seriousness of his statement, I’m filing a defamation suit against him.”
He also denied Nasharuddin’s allegation that he (Karpal) was anti-Islam.
“I have never spoken against Islam. Time and time again I have said I respect Islam as the official religion of the country,” Karpal said.
He clarified that DAP was against the formation of an Islamic state which it sees as a political concept.