DAP ready to talk on Islamic state issue; PAS to contest in Tenang

By Athi Shankar, Free Malaysia Today

KEPALA BATAS: DAP will discuss and find a solution within the Pakatan Rakyat sphere to resolve the contentious ‘Islamic state’ agenda championed by its ally PAS. Its national chairman Karpal Singh said DAP would defend and safeguard the official position of Islam as the state religion.

“We will protect the rights and interests of Islam as embodied in the Federal Constitution.

“However, we also want PAS to defend and safeguard the interests, rights and welfare of non-Muslims in the country,” he told a packed hall during the Pakatan 2nd national convention here today.

The convention is themed as “Change Now, Save Malaysia.”

Recalling his famous 1990 “Islamic state over my dead body” campaign remark, he said DAP was prepared to discuss and resolve the PAS-brand of Islamic state agenda.

“It’s not something we cannot resolve. We are open to talks on the issue and trash it out.

“Until now and then Barisan Nasional should not make noise about it,” said Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP.

Field proper candidates

He also called on Pakatan to field trusted, tried and persons with high integrity as candidates in the next general election.

He fired a salvo at PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim for fielding untrustworthy party hoppers as candidates in the last election.

He cited Barisan Nasional-friendly Bayan Baru MP Mohd Zahrain Hashim and Kulim-Bandar Bahru MP Zulkifli Noordin as fine examples of candidates who cannot be trusted.

Zahrain and Zulkifli defected from PKR early this year.

“We should not have anymore Zahrain or Zulkifli … who can trust such persons? It’s a blow that a top Pakatan leader like Anwar can make such mistakes.

“But it can be forgiven . . . hope not repeated,” he said.

Karpal said that he had also warned Anwar not to accept Zaid Ibrahim into PKR fold back in 2008.

He apparently has warned Anwar that the former federal minister from Umno cannot be trusted.

“I have been in legal profession for over 40 years . . . I know Zaid,” he said.

Karpal recalled that during the infamous judiciary crisis in late 1980s, Zaid was former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed hatchet boy.

Zaid, alleged Karpal, led some Umno sponsored gangsters to torch the Bar Council building in Kuala Lumpur.

“I warned Anwar on this guy (Zaid). I will defy if Anwar denies it,” he said.