PETALING JAYA: PAS today said its president Abdul Hadi Awang has been vindicated in likening other parties to “live lizards” (biawak hidup) following the episode in the Dewan Rakyat last Thursday which saw the tabling and deferment of his shariah amendment bill.
PAS president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the behaviour of DAP and Amanah MPs in opposing the amendment to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or Act 355, had corroborated the Islamist party’s decision to keep its distance from them.
He confirmed that PAS would never join Pakatan Harapan (PH) or engage in any cooperation with its component parties DAP and Amanah.
“PAS will continue to forge ahead and strengthen the party as a third block,” he said in a statement today.
He claimed that the persistent efforts by DAP and Amanah to counter PAS’ Islamic agenda in the tabling of the bill had substantiated the party’s judgment in going alone.
“This attitude was clearly visible in Parliament on April 6, 2016 when the PAS president and secretary-general (Kota Bharu MP Takiyuddin Hassan) tabled the motion,” he said.
He said the episode had also proven that Hadi was right in using the example of a live lizard in describing how other parties were treating PAS’ initiative to introduce the bill.
He said while one party did not have the courage to take the bill forward, the other side not only opposed it but also tried to block PAS’ right to pursue it through democratic channels.
On March 25 Hadi used the analogy of a lizard in announcing that PAS would not join either Barisan Nasional (BN) or PH due to conflicting principles and ideals.
He said that “to be together with BN is like carrying on the shoulder a live monitor lizard (biawak)” and joining PH would mean dealing with an even bigger “biawak” and a worse disease.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, an Umno member and former BN minister, had on the final day of the recent meeting of the house deferred the debate over Hadi’s bill until Parliament reconvenes on July 24.
The tabling of the bill and the decision by Pandikar was greeted with vocal objections by DAP and Amanah MPs, many of whom stood up to noisily berate the move.
“Those who were so agitated following the tabling of the bill and the brilliant speeches made by the PAS president and secretary-general have now chosen to divert attention by making allegations against PAS without a shred of evidence,” Tuan Ibrahim said.
He said the “stale strategy” would not work as PAS had become more mature and firm after it left the main opposition coalition with the termination of Pakatan Rakyat in 2015.
He challenged those making allegations against the party to report their grievances to the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for action to be taken and assured them that the party would cooperate fully.