PAS slams Dr M, denies being insincere to woo Chinese

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — PAS leaders have retaliated against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for calling their party hypocritical with a jibe of their own: Accusing Umno of rallying support by using a brand of Islam that leads to “church attacks” and “cow head protests”.

The leaders denied that PAS was only being accommodative to the Chinese for the sake of winning votes, pointing out that the very foundation of the party was to spread Islamic justice to all, regardless of race or religion.

PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said that PAS had always been consistent in its struggle to spread justice through Islam, adding that it did not matter who the recipients of justice was —  be they Chinese, Malays, Indians or others.

“What is he (Dr Mahathir) talking about? We are very clear about our beliefs and we have never strayed from them.

“We have been, since our inception, consistently campaigning and placing Islam as our reason for being, as our commitment and conviction.

“We always speak about Islamic justice and fairness and equality for all, all of these are espoused in Islam. It is commanded and demanded of us as Muslims to provide justice to all… it is not political expediency,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

In his blog posting two days ago, Dr Mahathir, the country’s longest-serving prime minister criticised PAS for being disingenuous, claiming that the Islamist party was only pretending to be accommodating of the Chinese to win their votes.

He claimed that if PAS seemed extremely supportive of the Chinese today, it was not because the party was “disaffected with race and religion” but because it wanted to play up Chinese racial sentiments to win their votes.

“Hypocrisy is very much alive in Malaysian politics,” Dr Mahathir had declared.

Dzulkefly shrugged off the former prime minister’s accusations and instead criticised Umno for using a violent brand of Islam to woo for votes, claiming that their methods only lead to chaos and racism.

“Islam preaches justice against corruption, it preaches about defending the rights of the others in their practices, whether religious or non-religious.

“Umno is not doing this. They use Islam differently. The attack on churches, the cow head incident — that is the kind of Islam they have,” he said.