Time to talk about earthly things too

It was reported that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang would now pen an invite to Pakatan Harapan leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a forum between them to be held on “another day”.

The initial forum proposed by Hadi was to be held at Port Dickson, but Mahathir said “another day” as he would be busy campaigning for Anwar Ibrahim.

I look at “another day” in many ways. It could really mean another day because the prime minister is busy. It could be that the prime minister is not interested. It could also be a polite way of saying “no” because there is nothing worthwhile to talk about or discuss.

I can’t put words into the prime minister’s mouth. This is just my interpretation of his comment.

But seriously, why the need for another forum between the head of government and a smallish opposition party? I thought we just had our biggest national forum on May 9, where the people listened and decided. It would have been more credible if Umno had requested for the forum.

What exactly does Hadi want to talk to the prime minister about in the proposed forum?

Is it another round of the Malays and Islam being threatened or marginalised?

Is it another round of bashing Anwar and his unsuitability?

Is it another private bill on hudud?

Is it another round of discussion on how to cane women “nicely” and in public?

Is it another round of discussion on underage girls getting married?

I thought the prime minister had stated his views quite clearly. Islam is compassionate and never a cruel religion. Islam does not teach its adherents to pry into the private lives of others in the name of preventing vice. Islam is not about chopping off heads and hands.

I think before a forum is held, it would be better for Hadi to put forth in detail exactly what he wants to talk about with Mahathir.

What ideas does he have on solving social ills besides caning in public and chopping off hands?

What ideas has he got on more “humane” development – development that does not cause irreparable damage to Orang Asli habitats and the environment?

What ideas has he got to mitigate the annual floods in the east coast states, apart from eyeing petrol money to hold more ceramahs and build more monuments?

Since he likes to talk about God and religion, maybe he should also suggest a holistic education system that can provide skills to earn a living and values that build good character without having to resort to punishment and more punishment.

The country needs income, food on the table and roofs over our heads. It is good to talk about spirituality, but it is also time to talk about some earthly stuff. It’s easier to talk about holiness and righteousness when the stomach is full.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.