KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Independent Selangor lawmaker Datuk Hasan Ali portrayed today the DAP as an obstacle to PAS’s bid for an Islamic state, countering the MCA’s claim that the secular opposition party is camouflaging its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Islamist ally’s true intent.
The DAP frequently opposes PAS’s efforts to elevate the religion while the Islamist party’s attitude of conforming to its Chinese-dominant partner despite claiming to be championing Islam has clearly disappointed Muslim Malaysians, said Hasan (picture), the former Selangor PAS chief.
“What is being raised here is not a question of enforcing rules like those in the enactment that have been in force for so long,” said the president of Muslim group Jalur Tiga (Jati), referring to DAP chairman Karpal Singh’s recent remarks on a controversial by-law barring women hairdressers from cutting men’s hair and vice-versa in PAS-led Kelantan’s capital Kota Baru.
“But more to the question of opposition and obstruction towards those rules that come from the DAP, PAS’s political partner in the opposition pact,” the assemblyman for Gombak Setia said in a statement.
Hasan said Karpal’s comment showed the DAP was unprepared to accept any Islamic rule, and urged the Malay-Muslim community to find alternatives to ensure Islam will be elevated instead of relying on PAS to do so.
“If in a matter that is said to be trivial like this the DAP cannot receive well, what more in bigger issues like implementing hudud and an Islamic state that PAS promises to realise when the opposition pact succeeds in capturing Putrajaya,” he said.
Racial and religious issues are inseparable in Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy, sparking heated rows between the opposition PR and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as well as among their respective political alliances as the 13th general election looms.
Malays make up some 60 per cent of the population and are defined as Muslims by the country’s highest law.
The MCA, the Chinese component party in the 13-member BN, has persistently painted the DAP as paving the way for an Islamic theocracy to be formed in the run-up to polls that could catapult the PR pact to Putrajaya.
However, BN lynchpin Umno and other right-wing Malay groups have just as persistently been portraying the DAP as a catalyst for the setting up of a Christian state and a Christian prime minister in the mainstream media.