By P Ramasamy
Hadi Awang, the leader of PAS and so-called defender of the Islamic faith, has reacted to TPPA rather than coming out with an analysis as to why Malaysians should oppose the agreement.
He is opposed to TPPA not so much because it has dangerous political, economic and social implications, but rather because he thinks, though wrongly, that the DAP, its one-time friend now turned foe, supports it!
According to Hadi, the DAP supports the TPPA in order to sustain the Chinese business community. And since the TPPA in his view only benefits the Chinese businessmen, there is no reason for PAS to support this trade agreement. Beyond this, he thinks that the Malays would be affected by the trade pact.
The DAP has made it clear on many occasions that it would oppose the TPPA because of its negative implications on the people.
By saying that the DAP favours the trade pact, Hadi betrays his own ignorance and lack of understanding of the broad implications of the trade pact on Malaysia and to other developing countries.
Maybe he could have been influenced by allegations that the DAP responded feebly to the anti-TPPA protest to be held on Saturday. However, Hadi and others have missed the point that Saturday is the eve of Thaipusam, a major Hindu festival. Holding an important event a day before a major festival might have an impact on participation.
To expect PAS to respect Hindus and their festival is something of a tall order under the present political circumstances. In a nutshell, PAS does not give a damn about faiths other than Islam! It is this narrow and myopic attitude that is troubling and a source of problems for Malaysians who believe in respect and tolerance.
Hadi’s negative traits render him an unsuitable leader for PAS. He has taken the party on a path of no return after the death of spiritual leader Nik Aziz. The party has dropped all references or even pretences to multi-racialism, tolerance and understanding. PAS has become, just like Umno, another racist and bigoted party.
Umno, newfound friend of Hadi, is the main architect of embracing the TPPA, but Hadi is silent on this matter. Is he afraid that PAS might be deprived of a racist partner if he criticises Umno? But why pick on DAP, which has distanced itself from TPPA?
Can we conclude that PAS under Hadi opposes a major trade pact on purely racial and religious grounds? No wonder that important people in the West think that Malaysians are fools ready to embrace anything because they lack the intellect to distinguish good and bad.
Under Hadi’s leadership, PAS has lost its mandate to speak on what is good or bad for the country. If PAS can go to the extent of supporting the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, especially about the money in his bank accounts, then the party has lost its mandate to represent Muslims in the country. It has become a mere third-rate appendage to Umno’s greed and lust.
It is not too late for other organisations and political parties to reconsider whether the battle against the TPPA can be sustained by allowing PAS to participate in the protest. Even if DAP cannot bring the desired number of participants, the party will not forsake its obligations to Malaysians. The DAP stands firm in opposing the TPPA!
P Ramasamy is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.
With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s personal opinion. FMT does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions given by any third party content provider.