Tenang voters, watch out. PAS will “chop off” your hands, warns Ghani

(Malaysia Chronicle) – Johor Mentri Besar Ghani Othman has warned voters in Tenang not to vote for PAS, otherwise the Islamist party may “chop off your hands for stealing”.

“What will happen when PAS comes to power? PAS already came to the Felda areas, saying that they want to form an Islamic state. They say they want laws to chop off your hands for stealing. That is the content of their campaign with the Malays in Chemplak in Tenang,” Malaysiakini reported Ghani as saying.

Ghani’s astonishing and many say irresponsible comments come a day after MCA president Chua Soi Lek had derided PAS candidate Normala Sudirman and PKR president Wan Azizah for wearing gloves when they shook hands with the public.

“Normala will not come here to a Chinese temple, she doesn’t even shake hands with the people. I have received complaints about this. She is like Anwar Ibrahim’s wife. She wears gloves when she shakes hands. If you can accept this kind of Islamic value, go ahead and vote for PAS,” Chua had said.

Making an ogre of Islam

Indeed, religious and racial bigotry is being used unabashedly by the BN to divide the ethnic groups in Tenang and squeeze the maximum votes for their candidate Azahar Ibrahim. Such tactics have long been condemned by civil society, with communal politics identified as one of major contributors to the BN’s disastrous electoral performance in the 2008 general election.

But BN is either not interested to learn its lesson or the feedback it has received is such that it has made Prime Minister Najib Razak abandon his hazy 1Malaysia slogan. The PM has given the green light for race-championing and religious-emoting strategies to win at Tenang. In fact, BN’s chief strategy is to bash down Islam and make it feared and even repulsive to non-Muslims.

But even if done in the name of politcal expediency, the extreme way in which Umno and BN have gone about it has shocked many Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

“Now, we are back to extreme is it? The last Umno was accusing PAS was of selling out to DAP, of fearing DAP. How come we are now extreme? Would DAP and PKR work with us if we are extreme?” Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud told Malaysia Chronicle.