PETALING JAYA: The Terengganu PAS Youth wing has denied that a parade in which its members carried replicas of weapons and shields could incite unrest.
Instead, its chief, Harun Esa likened the march to cosplay parades and competitions held regularly all over the country.
Defending the party’s Himpunan Pemuda Islam Terengganu (Himpit) programme, he said the particular group was dressed according to its theme for the event.
He said the event was held annually to bring together all of the party’s machinery for display according to each group’s theme.
“It has become a tradition for local PAS Youth groups to carry replicas of items related to their themes during such events.
“The issue of donning warrior uniforms used during ancient times by the contingent is only part of its theme.
“The event is similar to the ‘cosplay’ parades and competitions that are held all over the country showing their favourite superheroes and their weapons,” he said on Facebook.
He said other groups represented sports themes and even rode horses at the Himpit event.
Harun said it was not intended to be an event to incite violence, adding that it was very interesting to see the creativity of the representatives of the youth groups in the area displaying their respective ideas.
“Some of them were preparing for the event for almost a month. The police were also there to help control traffic during the peaceful procession,” he said.
Meanwhile, Terengganu police chief Rohaimi Isa said while the police were informed of the parade, they were not told that it would display replicas of weapons.
In a statement, he said the police will carry out an investigation to identify offences committed during the parade and will take the necessary action.
On the statement by police that they would call up the organisers for an explanation, Harun said although it seemed illogical to investigate such a peaceful event, he was ready to give a statement.
Earlier, PAS Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari told FMT that he found it “strange” to see Terengganu PAS Youth members marching with what appeared to be swords, spears and shields.
The march took place on Friday in Setiu, Terengganu.
Earlier today, pictures of a crowd of men believed to be PAS members marching with “weapons” went viral on social media.
A check on Terengganu PAS Youth’s Facebook page showed a similar picture with the addition of PAS flags in the background.
‘Warlike posturing is intimidating’
Meanwhile, Terengganu Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah questioned whether PAS was above the law with its members displaying “warlike posturing” in public.
“Is PAS immune in its president’s (Abdul Hadi Awang) state, where it is free to do whatever it likes?” he asked in a statement.
Raja Kamarul also said such action was clearly intended to cause worry among the public due to its intimidatory nature.
“What was the intention behind this display of ‘war preparations’ in public?”
Apart from Terengganu PH, MCA also criticised the “warlike posturing” by the PAS members.
MCA vice-president Ti Lian Ker said displays of violence had no place in this country that values tolerance, peace and harmony.
He also said such warlike posturing was an affront to the country’s political culture that values consensus building.