KUANTAN: Opening his party’s second muktamar after the historic election that saw PAS relegated to the east coast, Abdul Hadi Awang today accused the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government of not defending Islam as well as failing to manage the economy.
In his policy speech, Hadi, the Marang MP, said the country had lost political and economic direction under PH.
The list of the PH-led government’s weaknesses, he said, was too long, and the coalition only knew how to blame others. He added that many of the former administration’s programmes were now being rehashed with cosmetic changes.
“There are some who label PH as a government that is weak and unreliable.
“The people can judge PH’s lies in their manifesto promises which have not been delivered, the fraudulent academic degrees among ministers, and their silence towards those who insult the sanctity of Islam and the Prophet.”
Hadi said the government had also failed to create job opportunities and address concerns over the rising cost of living.
Announcing the theme of the muktamar, “Islam Memimpin Perpaduan” (Islam leads the way for unity), Hadi also touched on a number of issues.
The way forward for PAS
Hadi said PAS would defend Malaysia’s multiculturalism as prescribed by Islam and not for political purposes.
“We have a non-Muslim wing in PAS, and then there is Umno which is Malay-Muslim and staunchly Bumiputera yet has an unbroken bond with all other races.
“So we will fight anyone who wants to fan racial flames and religious fanatics who destroy our multicultural society, and we will not back down from defending Muslim leadership in accordance with the spirit of the theme.”
He said PAS was consistent in choosing the most peaceful approach in politics, adding that the party’s door was always open to dialogue and political cooperation based on principles.
These principles, he said, should benefit Islam, the nation and race as well as emphasise unity among the people.
He told non-Muslims not to fear that their rights would be diminished under an Islamic administration, adding that these have been guaranteed by the Quran and the Federal Constitution.
He then accused some parties of openly challenging the position of Islam, the Malay rulers and special provisions for Malays, saying it would cause tension.
Non-Muslims looked after
Hadi defended PAS’ rule in Kelantan and Terengganu, saying both states have been exemplary in showcasing the party’s commitment to ensuring justice for all races.
He said the party’s Supporters wing, made up of non-Muslims, should be strengthened with the involvement of all races and religions.
He offered to have discussions with non-Muslim parties and NGOs, citing the success of PAS’ discussions with Indian party MIC where he said they had found common ground in some areas and discussed differences peacefully.
He said PAS would uphold the “Charter Guaranteeing the Protection of Non-Muslims” which among others, prioritises relations, peace, and brotherhood in a multicultural society, fairness for all, the protection of non-Muslim sensitivities and the freedom to do what is allowed by their religions while respecting the sensitivities of Muslims.
Corruption and transparency
Hadi also said PAS was committed to making Malaysia corruption-free, transparent and competitive through constructive criticism.
“Every allegation of corruption and breach of trust needs to be investigated and brought to court for trial, not a media trial by ministers.”
He said PAS supported the calls for a royal commission of inquiry or a parliamentary select committee to study every report and recommendation provided by the National Audit Department, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, police and Bank Negara Malaysia to strengthen government bodies such as Tabung Haji, Felda and Mara.
In his speech, Hadi also urged PAS members to prepare for the 15th general election which he said could take place sooner than expected.
“Priority must be given to boosting membership, recruitment of new voters, widening our influence and the strategic use of the media.”
He added that the mandate for political cooperation, distribution of seats and selection of candidates should be left to the Shura Council and central leadership to decide.
Malaysia Agreement 1963
On Sabah and Sarawak, Hadi said PAS wanted to see the standard of living improve in the two states.
He urged all parties to strengthen their commitment towards the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and improve on the weaknesses in its implementation.