PR giving BN a run for their money: Mustafa

By Harakah Daily

LABIS, Jan 27: PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali said UMNO had been caught by surprise in the Tenang by-election campaign, saying PR was putting up a good fight in a seat most political analysts had concluded would be easy win for BN.

FIGHTING MOOD… From left, PKR’s Tian Chua, Mustafa, PAS vice presidents Salahuddin Ayub and Mahfuz Omar, and DAP’s Tony Pua

As such, UMNO and Barisan Nasional were forced to raise “petty issues” in their campaign to attract voters, he said.

“This is due to Pakatan Rakyat, which consists of PAS, PKR and DAP, showing good cooperation and forcing UMNO-Barisan Nasional to resort to the politics of race and hatred.
When they go to Chinese, they say DAP follows PAS’s instruction, when they go to Malays, they say PAS is DAP’s stooge,” he added.

The campaign started with MCA president Chua Soi Lek making fun of the PAS candidate Normala Sudirman’s preference not to shake hands with the opposite sex citing religious norms. An unrepentant Chua has refused to apologise over his comments, and said there was ‘nothing great’ about knowing Islamic values.

Islamic agenda

On Islamic state, Mustafa stressed that implementing Islamic laws is not part of Pakatan Rakyat’s agenda and said even if it alone were to govern the country, there were other more critical reforms needed.

Mustafa said while the implementation of Islamic law was not part of PR’s agenda, any country that wanted to implement it must follow fulfill certain prerequisites.

“Among the prerequisites are economic justice, such as minimum wage. If someone steals because of poverty, one cannot implement Islamic laws, because the rulers are to blame,” explained Mustafa, adding that even if PAS managed to garner two-third majority in Parliament, Islamic penal laws would not be a priority.
Mustafa however said the party would not waiver from its commitment to be guided by Islam in its politics.